Sunday, March 23, 2014

Struggling with your lenten promise?

So, we're about halfway through lent, now and it's about that time that either the lenten promise starts to get easier and become routine or you realize that you're not doing so great on you lenten promise.  I'll have to say I'm both.  I chose to give up nutella for lent (I could literally live off of that stuff!) haha It seems like a funny thing to give up but I knew it would be hard for me personally.  I also chose to DO something.  Lent is not just about giving something up.  You can also do something.  Last year every morning I woke up and first thing I did was kiss the floor and say a prayer for humility (kind of the same idea as Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.)  This year I felt like I wanted to do that again, but it's been hard for me.  I have a hard time remembering to do it!  So, as soon as I remember I just drop to the ground.

It seems silly to me personally that I'm having such a hard time this year!  Lent was a very special time for me last year and I grew in my devotion to God.  Guess I should have kept kissing the floor even after lent, though!  I'm am sad to say that I have been lazy.  When we are in consolation it is so easy to say "yes, Lord! I will thank You for everything!"  But when we are in desolation and we don't feel Him it is so much more difficult.  It that state of consolation we see God in the beauty of everything.  He is in the person holding the door for us or He is the rain that waters the plants; He is in the sunshine that brightens our day or we see him in a teacher or peer.  Consolation helps us to be inspired by our surroundings and we are able to look outward.  In desolation it is much more difficult to see things that way.  Even though God is still there, we look negatively inward and we feel like giving up.  We know deep down that God is with us, but He is not flashing in front of our nose like a billboard sign.  We may feel drained and lonely.

So what do we do when it is so hard to pray and we really don't feel like getting out of bed to kiss the floor?  Be honest.  Tell God that you're struggling.  It doesn't have to be in the form of a novena or some formal prayer.  Just talk to him.  When you find yourself struggling, reach for His hand and ask for his guidance.  You may feel like you're talking to yourself, but I can promise you the He is listening.  Also, seek guidance in those around you.  Talk things out with a friend or just spend time with them instead of being alone.  Spending a bunch of time alone is when most people are at their worst.  It is easy to think about the past and say "well I should have done ____" or "why didn't he/she do ___" or even "Why, God, didn't you help me?"  It is so easy to place blame or focus on regret.  It is important to not dwell on those things.  They happened, but they are in the past: time to move on.

Yet, we're all human, we make mistakes.  I forget to pray sometimes, but I can't let that stop me.  Admit it and say "oops" and then fix it.  I can't tell you how many times I've said "oops!  Forgot to kiss the floor!  Guess now is better than never."  God understands.  Don't beat yourself up over it.  Whatever you are struggling with, give it to God.

God's got you covered!

God bless!