Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Warming Up To God

I recently bought this sign from a friend of mine who paints signs.
I am reminded of Ephesians 5:15-17 :

"Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise,
making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord."

And I know that I need to use my time more wisely, because we do LIVE IN SO LITTLE TIME. There is an urgency we forget about as we plod through the years, waiting until next week or next month to do what needs to be done RIGHT NOW.

So many times I get on a cleaning roll, for example, and I say "Just a minute" to the little boy waiting to read a a story. "I just have to get the floor swept...then..." So just a minute turns into an hour, an hour turns into another day, and another day turns into...well, you get the idea.

Before I know it, that little boy in the picture is almost a man, and he's not asking me to read stories to him any more, and he's not longing for my time. In a sense, the window closes. Not that it's too late to build a relationship with that child, but it does become harder. I am ashamed to say how easy it becomes to make a DAILY HABIT OF PUTTING MY CHILDREN OFF.

I began thinking about the whole dilemma, wanting to SCREAM, "Lord, you know I love these children, and you know they are the most important thing in the world to me, but things HAVE TO BE DONE!"
 Cooking, cleaning, schoolwork, phone calls, bills, broken down cars and frozen pipes, celebrations, places to be, and for some mothers even work outside the home! How do I take time that I don't have to meet all the demands that seem so endless?

I was sitting right at this spot, with the flooding sunlight defying bitter cold outside, when a thought occurred to me: As we try to get closer to the light (Christ) it is PAINFUL.
God calls us to :

"put away your former life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts." ~ Ephesians 4:22

God has given us everything we need to become who he has called us to be, but IT IS A PAINFUL PROCESS. I was thinking how when my hands and fingertips ache with cold, when they are frozen, and I put them in warm hurts!!

And why is getting closer to God painful? Our fingers are numb to the cold, just as our hearts become numb to the things of God:


When a frozen pipe is thawed, warmth is what is needed, but sometimes as it is thawing the pipe breaks.



This Fall, a priest shared his amazing conversion story with me. He said the hardest thing about it was coming to tell his old friends of his experience, and they rejected him. Becoming like Christ, drawing closer to the light can be very lonely.

Struggling with the same imperfections in ourselves, day after day can be lonely. Struggling with a difficult child or spouse can be lonely. Tomorrow I will be more patient. Tomorrow I will be more loving, etc... DON'T WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW. Start right now. Getting on the right track with God can begin the next second of your life.

"Lord, I am sorry I just yelled at _______. Please help me to be a more patient and understanding mother/wife."

"Lord I am sorry I have put my children off all day, please give me the grace to seize the opportunities you give me to share with my children. Help me to discern what needs to be done right now, and what can wait."

Little prayers, said throughout the day, can change our entire life outlook. The difficulty is getting into the habit of saying these prayers. Maybe it would be most helpful to say one after each meal, or each trip to the bathroom, or glass of water, etc.. Some  regular event in the day could serve as a "prayer checkpoint" of sorts.

Will you try this with me?  I've been quite cold lately, and I'm ready to warm up!