I’ve been reflecting on that this morning. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. I wasn’t going to blog about it, write about it, talk about it much. I thought it was my burden to bear, and I thought blogging, writing, and talking about it would allow me the opportunity to be whiny and complainy about it.
But, this morning, I read Psalm 37 in the Office of Readings after Morning Prayer. The first antiphon was “Surrender to God, and he will do everything for you.” After that antiphon, I read, “If you trust in the Lord and do good, then you will live in the land and be secure. If you find your delight in the Lord, he will grant your heart’s desire.”
Trusting in the Lord…gee willikers, now there’s something I could improve! Wouldn’t that be the same as letting God drive?
“Calm your anger and forget your rage; do not fret, it only leads to evil.”
Me, angry? Welllllllll, it has been a rough couple of weeks. But what has made them rough? Was it my own insistence on doing everything, being everywhere, having things just so? Could it have been my own inability to accept God’s will, to allow him to send me graces even in the midst of impossibilities like hard drive crashes and completely unproductive work weeks?
The third and final antiphon this morning was “Wait for the Lord to lead, then follow in his way.”
OK, God. This morning’s psalter in the Office was for me. Gotcha.
And then…part of the Bible reading, from Phillipians 2:12-30, “In everything you do, act without grumbling or arguing: prove yourselves innocent and straightforward, children of God beyond reproach in the midst of a twisted and depraved generation – among whom you shine like the stars in the sky while holding fast to the word of life.”
I paused to consider: in the last few weeks, have I acted without grumbling or arguing? If the people who have been around me, especially those dear souls I work with and those parishioners who have been volunteering, heard me asking this, would they dissolve into hysterical laughter at the notion of me acting without grumbling or arguing? What message do I send about the blessing of my job, about the joy of motherhood, about the reasons I’m a Christian, when I’m miserable to be around?
Why do bad things happen to good people? But I’ve been asking myself, instead, why I refuse the grace God sends when the bad things happen. How can I better turn my life over to God, accepting the life I have and embracing the burdens as crosses that lead me closer to Him.
The last part of the Office is a reading from one of the Church Fathers, doctors of the Church, or other saint or mystic. I’ve been reading an excerpt from Columban’s Instruction the last few times I’ve made time to include the Office in my morning prayer. The first sentence just seems to be written to me. “Brethren, let us follow that vocation by which we are called from life to the fountain of life.”
So, with that, I’m going to take that prayer I keep by my bathroom mirror (but which I have, lately, completely ignored and failed to pray), and carry it around today. When I have an odd moment, I’m going to take it out and pray it.
And then I’m going to laugh…because budget deadlines, crashed hard drives, cranky-to-the-point-of-impossible daughters, fussy babies, holes in the roof, exhausted evenings, packing for trips…all these things have blessings in them. I can give in to the frustration, or I can trust God. That work at the parish? That’s HIS problem, not mine. Those kids who “interrupt” me constantly as I try to “get things done”? They’re straight from HIM, not a burden to bear. That to-do list that’s as out-of-control as the weeds in my back flowerbed? HE will help me, if only I’ll step back and let Him.
So. Care to join me in a prayer?