Having dedicated myself this last week and a half or so to the Fiat Men experiment, I've found some interesting results. Sometimes, I've failed. Okay, often. Often, I've failed. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how difficult it can be to set aside your will for God's.
If you're just joining us, one of the founding principles I drew on for this blog was the movie Yes Man. If you haven't seen it, please do! It's very amusing. In the movie, Jim Carrey's character, Carl, takes a challenge to say yes to everything. For a year. It takes him on an insanely wild ride, sometimes successful, sometimes not. He discovers a lot of things that truly matter, makes some friends he otherwise would not have, and ends up just having an overall interesting experience.
Here's my twist: what if we men (women are welcome to do this too, by all means!)...what if we men said yes to everything God asked of us? What paths would that take us down? Would we be happier? Would we find real, true, abiding fulfillment? Would we find God? Of course, I know what the answer is. I believe we would find ourselves filled with joy and in love with our Heavenly Father. In fact, that's a doctrine of the Church: following God's will, we will attain to paradise! Why is it we so often choose not to say yes to God, why do we choose not to say, as our Blessed Mother did, "fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum" - "let it be done to me according to your word"? The reason is pride.
What if we all were Fiat Men? I think we would all radiate joy in the Spirit so profoundly the people around us would flock to the Church. The price of water would skyrocket because there'd be so many baptisms going on! A friend of mine, Steve Horvath, a former FOCUS missionary and a subject of the A&E program God or the Girl?, was quoted on a FOCUS pamphlet as saying, "once I saw what they had, I had to have it." He was talking about Catholics alive in their faith.
Let me give you a foretaste. Today was a doozy. I spent the whole day at home alone with my toddlers. My daughter bites...and pushes...and scratches...and pulls hair...and my son, well, he let's her, but whines about it 'til the cows come home. There was screaming and whining and pooping and crying. It was a hard day. So when the Mrs. came home, I decided that I needed to get out. I drove my car down the drive and felt a calling. I felt like I should really go to the Adoration Chapel. This was quite a surprise to me. I was going to go to Walmart and gt some brownies as a little treat to make up for my bad day. I turned left instead of right and off I went toward Jesus. I got into the chapel and felt called to pull out a rosary. I didn't have mine on me (it went missing recently, which saddens me because I really liked it). I prayed, and tried really hard not to think of myself, but to focus on Christ. I found myself praying for some enemies. I didn't find it to be a struggle this time. I really, genuinely wanted these people to get the help of grace. After I finished the rosary, I started looking at the exit and the clock. If you've gone to Adoration before, you probably know what I mean. You start getting antsy. I'm convinced this is because we're still focused on ourself. We've barely even begun to look toward God enough to be doing anything properly called prayer. So I let Him have it. I felt called to surrender. I felt called to stay with Him. So often we say, "mane nobiscum, Domine" - "stay with us, Lord," but we don't consider staying with Him and watching for one hour, as He requested of us. I decided to stay and thoughts flooded my mind. Here was God, before me. Here He was, the fulfillment of my every desire. Everything I wanted in life, everything I feared I would not receive (fear, afterall, is a direct denial of Divine Providence), was nothing compared to Christ. Even if I was to be a complete failure in life. Even if my family and friends abandoned me, I would still have Him. The room grew quiet. I became acutely aware of Him. Not in a "look at me, I'm so holy, watch me levitate...hey, do you smell roses" kind of way. It was as if God was showing me for just a few minutes who He was, reminding me, and re-orienting me from myself and my anxieties to Himself. As I left sometime later, I was filled with peace. I ended up going to Walmart (we needed milk & diapers and I still had a sweet-tooth) and was quiet inside, and joyful outside. I know I brought joy to at least one other customer while I was there.
So here's the challenge renewed: try being a Fiat Man, then write in the comments or send me an email detailing your experiences. Let's always say Fiat to God, and see how many disciples we can make!