One February morning, all eyes were on a big winter storm rolling into Detroit. That whole day the temperature started to drop, and that night the steady rain that had been pooling on the ground turned into a mess of sloppy slush, then into a bed of ice, and then disappeared under a cushion of snow. Children were singing the Lord’s praises for two whole days of no school until the cleanup finally got started—plowing, shoveling, and salting with frozen fingers in the freezing winds. I almost felt a little guilty as I stepped onto a plane to spend the weekend in Miami!
“Seek-2022” was my destination, an annual conference of college students sponsored by a university campus ministry called FOCUS. These students came together to pray, grow in their faith, and enjoy each other’s company, and SOLT was present to celebrate with them and to encourage vocations to our community. We had a booth set up with all our information, and I was feeling ready with a friendly hello and a wooing explanation of our mission for any curious passersby. That’s when I got a surprise.
“Hey Brother Adam, do you want to be part of the vocations panel set up on the main stage to share with everyone about your calling to religious life?” Sr. Mary Elizabeth asked suddenly.
“Sure,” I said tentatively, thinking how nice the weather in Detroit is this time of year.
As the conversation came to an end, I started thinking about what message I wanted to give from the panel. It didn’t take long. In fact, God had already given me the answer the day I left Detroit. Having gone to confession that morning, I was asked by the priest to spend some time with God thinking about something I was grateful for in my life. Immediately, my call to live as a religious had come to mind, an invitation I received years ago through reading the story of the rich young man (Mark 10:17-21). That began my pursuit of God, which has brought into my life untold satisfaction, joy, challenge, and peace, gifts of a God good beyond compare and completely worthy of surrender!
Hopefully, that was the message I left with the students in sunny Miami, and I hope I’ve done the same for you through this article. God bless.
Br. Adam Schmitzer