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Remaining Tethered to God

November 14, AD2014 10 Comments

Recently, I had the privilege of caring for the newest member of our family. Jacob Alexander is two months old, and his mother was returning to work.

Since he is the first addition to our extended family in the past 5 years, there are some adjustments being made. We have slowly become accustomed to more independence when it comes to the children. They eat what we eat, have graduated to boosters rather than car seats, and are able to take care of basic grooming for themselves.

As I fed this little one, there was a mishap, and the milk his nursing mother had supplied spilled all over the two of us. A realization came to me in a flash: we were invisibly tethered to her and the life-giving sustenance she had carefully provided for her absence. Without it, there would be dire need. Thankfully, the remaining supply was plentiful; and the day went smoothly from that point on.

This same type of revelation must have come to Peter when he asked Our Lord to allow him walk on water. In a moment of bravado, he saw Jesus and wanted desperately to be with Him. As the waves grew more menacing, however, he must have come to realize just how precarious his position was. In terror, his faith dwindled and he began to sink. (Matthew 14: 28-31) Only calling out to Jesus, being tethered to Him, could save Peter — and he knew it!

Like Saint Peter and our little Jacob, we are all tethered. As Jacob is tethered to his mother, we are tethered to God. We rely on Him for our very lives and for everything we need — in this world and in the next. Although our passions deceive us into a flawed sense of self-sufficiency, the life-giving sustenance our Creator God provides is our only true and eternal lifeline.

As adults, we are lulled into a complacency and pride of self sustenance. We see our own efforts resulting in food, shelter, and other worldly needs and wants. Yet, in the blink of an eye, tragedy can strike, and we can become as helpless as a newborn. In this world, that can mean unemployment, illness, and death; in Eternal Life the options are everlasting life or damnation.

So what are we to do with this realization? How can we consciously remain tethered to God and give Him His due? Holy Mother Church beautifully provides the answers.

The gifts of the Sacraments give us forgiveness, food for the journey, and bountiful oceans of grace. In the Bible and writings of the saints we are provided with all the tools we need to live as the saints He wants us to be. We also have the Communion of Saints, shoring us up even as we join them in heavenly praise.

The rest is up to how we employ our free will — to come fully to terms with our need for God. Our very lives depend on it.

Like the wise virgins, we must to keep our lamps of grace filled and remain ever watchful for the Bridegroom. (Matthew 25: 1-13) Like the saints, we must to serve God by serving others and loving unconditionally. And like Martha’s sister, Mary, we must sit at the feet of Jesus and bask in His life-giving words. (Luke 10: 38-42)

Being as little children to God our Father, our realization of utter dependence will be essential in the Eternal outcome of our lives.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Birgit is a 50-something cradle Catholic who is passionate about the pro-life movement. She has been married to her Catholic convert husband, Rick, for 40 years. They have four children and nine living grandchildren (all age twelve and under). Their frequent visits eliminate any fear of an empty nest! Birgit can also be found on her personal blog Designs By Birgit and Facebook fan page Designs By Birgit, where she shares the pro-life memes she creates.

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  • Guy McClung

    BillS – You got it right, the “Truth” is spelled with a capital uppercase T, because it isn’t a theory or some set of data, He is a person who made you and loves you. Birgit, the startling realization and the humbling realization for me was when I realized that when I had tried to cut God’s tether, or ignored it, He refused to untether me; just as He is doing for all of us, and BillS, right now. Even if you drift all the way to the end of the tether, it never is disconnected. Guy McClung, San Antonio

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Exactly, Guy. Whether we like it or not – whether we admit it or not – we are tethered to Him. We can therefore choose to make things difficult by hard-headed denial or productive by submission and cooperation.

    • Bill S

      I think that if there is a God, he is not mad at those who refuse to believe in him. If anything, we amuse him.

  • Bill S


    Great article. I probably read more Catholic blogs than any other atheist because I can see and have experienced myself that the Catholic worldview works despite the fact that it is built upon what Christians call “the Truth” which is actually not in itself true. It confounds me.

    What appears to have happened is that Jesus somehow started an offshoot of Judaism that has worked perfectly to give us the world we live in today. In fact, the world seems to falter the most when people don’t live their lives the simple way that Jesus taught. ISIS is a perfect example as were the atheist regimes of the 20th century.

    I have to admire Catholicism even if I can’t accept its teachings in their entirety.

    • Mary Ann

      I’ve read your comments on this site and I can almost see the Holy Spirit at work within you. I’m glad you are still open to the possibility that God does exist. While not knowing your particular life situations, I can only speak generally to say that sometimes, misfortune can cause us to become bitter towards God and life. We lash out at others and blame God for everything bad in our lives and in the world. This misdirected anger leads us to reject God entirely. After we have proclaimed ourselves athiest, and reinforced that belief over and over, there almost seems to be no turning back (or so our pride would lead us to believe). I just want to encourage you to keep looking for proof of God’s goodness all around you. Our soul is a touch of his essence within us, and it does keep us tethered to him. As long as there is a breath of life within you there is the ability to spiritually reconnect to God! Good luck to you.

    • Bill S

      I have found a chink in the armor of New Atheism and NeoDarwinism that has led me as far as seeing that we are not here by a series of random fortuitous events. There is an intelligence behind all this. If some want to call it “God” that’s fine with me. That’s where I’m at. Been there for a while.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      What an evolution I have been blessed to see in you, in the short time I have read your comments. May you continue to search, discern, and converse about that ‘intelligence behind all this’. I’m always interested in seeing your comments.

    • Bill S

      Marc Alcan has gotten me closer to seeing that the intelligence behind all this is what people consider to be God. We just disagree with about how accurately religion has described this God.