Being on "God's Time"

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I never thought I would be so annoyed about setting the clocks forward. Since I already wake up earlier than usual as part of my Lenten resolution, I’ve lost a little more sleep now that Daylight Savings Time has started. And I really could’ve used some extra sleep since my retreat ended on Saturday night.

But as I’ve learned on retreats, you are never really on your own time, but actually “God’s time.” Retreats have schedules, but things rarely go as planned or go as smoothly as we want them to. The same thing applies to real life. We may have all these plans about how we want our day to go, but something always throws us off our schedule. It could be the kids crying, rush hour traffic, an unexpected request from a co-worker, etc. As Taylor Swift said “Life is full of little interruptions.”

One thing I struggle with is how to be flexible with my time while trying to stick to a schedule. I used to plan everything down to the minute to the point that one tiny distraction or interruption would throw me off completely. Now that I work from home, I have to make my own schedule and structure my day in small ways.

Another thing that I also struggle with, when it comes to God’s timing, is trusting in his providence. I have the very awful tendency to compare my life to other people’s. It seems like everyone I know is in a relationship, getting married, having babies, working full-time…and I’m stuck at home, waiting for my life to start.

It wasn’t until I watched Yulin Kuang recap how 2015 was for her that I learned the meaning behind the idea of “Don’t compare your behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” She pointed out that she didn’t document her disappointments and that a lot of her year was spent waiting. “So much so that you couldn’t stand it.” It made me realize that everyone has long waiting periods at some point or another. Rome wasn’t built in a day and there’s no such thing as an actual overnight sensation.

I’m only three months into 2016 and I’ve already been on one retreat. I have plans for travelling next month as well as this summer. I contributed to a Bible study and am trying to be consistent with my goals and my prayer life. A lot of my blessings have been of the interior, both this year and throughout my post-college life. But all that waiting led to amazing things in the long run.

I am always on God’s time, even when I don’t want to be. After all, Romans 8:28 says “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

So let’s hope that whatever God has in store for me this year was worth waiting for.

Maturity and Making Amends

You ever have one of those days when you wonder “I wonder how my exes are doing now?” And you get that temptation to stalk them on Facebook? Yeah, I’ve been there. I actually contemplated calling one of my exes last night. By the grace of God, I did not go through with it. Instead, I prayed for my exes.

It’s kind of funny how time has a way of changing people. I’m not sure if it’s the fruits of consecrating myself to Jesus through Mary last year or just Divine Providence, but when my friend told me that the ex I wanted to contact wasn’t doing so well, I didn’t laugh at the fact that he seemed to be living a miserable life. Instead I felt sorry for him.

If you ever talked to me a few years ago and told me that one of my exboyfriends is working a minimum wage job and still lived in his parents’ basement, I probably would’ve been howling with laughter.

Maturity is a very weird thing sometimes. It takes all the fun out of laughing at someone else’s expense. But on the other hand, it reminds me that I have better things to think about than how my exes are doing. If I were to actually track down all my exes, I would probably reopen wounds that took a long time to heal or worse, open up opportunities for the more dangerous exes to start manipulating me again.

Sometimes making amends can’t be done in person. Sometimes, it’s too late. Sometimes, for psychological reasons, you can’t be in the same room as that person let alone communicate online. Sometimes, all you can do is pray for those who’ve hurt you. Pray for the ones who broke your heart. Pray the ones who damaged you, no matter how hard that may be. I’m not saying that they will change or that there will ever come a point where you can make amends on a more personal level, but prayer is always the best place to start.

Through prayer, we say to that person “I love you enough to want the best for you, even though you’ve hurt me.” Fr. Robert Barron says “Love means wanting the good for the other as other.”

So here’s my challenge: Think about the person who’s hurt you the most. And pray for them. Write a really angry letter if you must, but offer that anger up to God. Give yourself time. And maybe a crayon. The cliche is often true: time heals all wounds. But it’s not just time that heals the wounds. It’s God. We can hide ourselves in the wounds of Christ and find healing, enough to maybe testify someday. (Listen to Danielle Rose’s “Glorious Wounds” to see what I mean.)

So here’s my question to you: Tell me about a time that you made amends with someone, whether in person or through prayer. What was that experience like for you?

How Exactly Can I Give Alms When I'm Broke?

Like many 20-somethings these days, I have a problem finding the means of getting a steady income these days. 

Days like this I’m thankful for the Rice Bowl. 

Although I’m still searching for a steady job, I still get an allowance and plenty of times where a little spare change comes into my life. The wonderful thing about the Rice Bowl is that a little change can go a long way. You don’t have to follow the calendar or give $40 even though this year, the box is suggesting as much. 

There are a lot of other opportunities to give alms. My dad and I often buy a food bank package at the local grocery store. The register also advertises donations to various charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project. My brother sometimes donates to that.

But another thing you can give to God is your time.

 

You say that there’s no way you can make time for God?

I will share this awesome video from Blimey Cow that will invalidate your argument: 

For me, I give my alms by using my writing as a form of service. I’m currently working on a series of Bible study meditations that I’ll be sharing here in a few months. You might have also noticed that I’ve been blogging a lot more here. You can use time to serve your parish or to volunteer somewhere or to do something extra for your family. You can also spend that time in prayer.

How long should I pray for, you ask?

“Every one of us needs half an hour of prayer a day, except when we are busy-then we need an hour”,  St. Francis de Sales

You can offer your mornings or evenings and pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Or you can spend an hour in Adoration. All of these I think are great ways to offer your time back to the God who created time.