Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Cooperating with God

What does it mean to cooperate with God?  I should know by now as I work towards being a Pauline Cooperator.  But, I find myself saying yes to cooperating with the easy things and backing away from cooperating on the hard things.  

I wrote a book that recently came out entitled “Marketing God”.  Don’t worry; this blog is not about the book!  In the course of releasing the book I have been speaking quite a bit.  What stuns me are the questions that are being asked of me at the conclusion of my talks. The questions are about the abuse crisis in the church, how to bring people back to Mass, how to help people understand the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, how to define a target audience when some individuals struggle to define their own identity, how to prevent legislation against the very beliefs we hold to be true.   The list goes on and on. These questions are so much bigger than my little worldview of marketing, and I don’t have answers. 

When I speak, I often reference a truth in the book with the associated bible verse: “Here am I. Send me” ( Isaiah 6:8).  We, those reading this blog, those who visit Pauline Books and Media stores, those who hear me speak have in some way, shape or form said: “Here am I.  Send me.”  But then, when God sends me, I push back.  Well, send me to do the easy things, I pray.  Please don’t send me to do the hard things.  I am not equipped; I don’t know what to say, I can’t answer the questions being posed of me.   

Am I really cooperating if I ask for only the easy things? Why do I find it so difficult to cooperate on the hard things?   Perhaps the issue is that I am not really cooperating with God, rather I am trying to rely on myself.  

I looked to the dictionary definition of cooperating and found a few ways to define the word.  The one definition that struck me was “assist someone or comply with their requests”.  And that is when it occurred to me:  I am to cooperate with God.  It is not that God is here to cooperate with me.  That concept is simple and yet so profound.  The verse, “Here am I. Send me,”  truly does say that.  It is saying let me be in service to you Lord, let me help you, let you lead and me follow.  Being a cooperator starts with a focus on God, not on me. 

In the moment, when the questions are hard, when the task is difficult,  how do I cooperate with God?  In those difficult moments, why is it that I turn to myself for answers?  What does it look like to truly cooperate with God, and say yes, send me?  We have to look no further than our founder because Blessed James Alberione showed us the path. 

Blessed James Alberione intentionally called the laity cooperators; I believe because he deeply understood what cooperating with God was all about.   He guided us with the words:  "In the morning, therefore, let us place ourselves at His feet and say to Him: You are the Way: I want to walk in your footsteps.... You are the Truth: enlighten me! You are the Life: give me grace!" (Blessed James Alberione) 

That is not to say that cooperating will be easy.  And, it is not to say that I won’t still pray for the easy tasks from time to time.  But, it is to say that I recognize that it is in the difficulties of the world, in the hard questions comes the real cooperation with our Lord.  Perhaps when the hard questions come to me I can authentically answer:  “I don’t know, but I can help you find the people who do know.”   In cooperating with God, I do not have to have all the answers for God does. 
I hope I am learning that when the hard things come, that is when I need to remember I am in service to God, that I am cooperating with Him, that it is He not I.  In the moment, when cooperating is difficult, that is when I need to place myself at God’s feet knowing he is the Way; ask for his enlightenment, knowing he is the Truth; and pray for grace, knowing he is Life.  


The once international corporate marketing executive is now an author and speaker who encourages people to live radiantly, letting God shine through them. Donna A. Heckler was blessed with a prominent career serving multi-billion dollar organizations and now focuses her writing at the intersection of faith and business.  Donna’s award winning book "Marketing God: Inspired Strategies for Building the Kingdom" was just released in August 2019 by OSV and is a crash course for those passionate about their faith and looking for ways to share it effectively. 

Recognized as a thought leader in brand and marketing strategy, she is co-author of the book The Truth About Creating Brands People Love. Donna penned the acclaimed book Living Like A Lady When You Have Cancer after her stage 3 cancer diagnosis. She worked through her treatments but worked even more at trying to live radiantly every day. 

God now takes a front seat in Donna’s life as she shares her journey, her beliefs, her faith in her writing and speaking. Donna reminds us to sit quietly with God and to live radiantly despite what is happening in our lives, with God shining through every day.

1 comment:

Maryann Toth said...

Donna, thank you for continuing to share your journey and faith with us. You are a blessing to our Pauline Family!