So there is an instructor who works in my real estate office and loves to give me a hard time about absolutely everything. He literally comes to the office each night when he has a class looking for a chance to sass me (probably because he knows I can’t resist rising to the occasion.) An interesting friendship has developed because it somehow manages to be fun even though we have absolutely nothing else in common.
This backstory is important in order to understand the context of the upcoming confession.
I was waiting for my ride to pick me up from work one night and I saw this same guy’s name and phone number on the whiteboard for his class. I ended up writing “for a good time call” above it purely for my own amusement.
I thought about leaving it there but in the spirit of professionalism erased my addition.
However, that minor moment of silliness was nice to me. I feel like it’s the essence of who I am in my soul coming out. I don’t know why I’m a goof like that but I always have been. Even in those rare moments where I manage actual kindness that glimmer of mischief remains and reflecting on that makes me miss St. Pope John Paul II who also had said glimmer in his eyes.
The only way I can think to describe it is having an inner life much like that of a child because it was this moment which revealed to me that my endeavors to realign myself with the present moment and put down the tantalizing temptation to live in the future (and then put it down again after I pick it up once more swearing it’s the last time) have been successful.
I say this because the fruit of the present moment is joy. In the moment no one knew what I’d done except myself and God and it was a silly moment of being alive in what could have been a dreary moment of waiting after an especially long day of work.
I sometimes get all organized in my prayer life, really trying to discipline myself to do what I know has worked in the past, but lately, I remembered that the root of all my prayer life is just talking to God. Talking to God in the ordinary while I’m waiting.
And surprisingly I think from our interactions together that God may be a goof too…
And in that spirit this is for you:
Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun at my job. Ironically, it hasn’t been because I have an especially fun work environment, it has been because my work environment sometimes feels like the ER but with crises of a housing variety and I’m the one who coordinates all the staff, among other things.
No, the reason I’ve been having fun is because in those moments where I’m being contacted many different ways simultaneously and doing a thousand things in immediate succession, things that would not normally strike me as that big deal seem like the end of the world. So, instead of dealing with them immediately and/or being a jerk about these things to my coworkers (and dealing with the subsequent guilt of that) I decided to do something new.
Since I confess on this blog frequently about what an impatient person I am, I decided to wait. Instead of doing things in the heat of the moment I make a note and wait to do it until later once my emotions or frustrations have blown over. I take a break when I need to and do other basic things to take care of myself on the job (which is easy for some people but not always so easy for me).
And the funny part is how a lot of my “crises” take care of themselves. This little method has been shaking me out of my own perfectionism, which creeps up on me more than I care to admit. I do what I can with the tools I have and sort of go with the flow. Stepping away is helpful. While this all probably sounds rather obvious it’s not something that I see easily or frequently put into practice in the schools I attended or the places I’ve worked. With the speed and interconnectivity of everything it’s harder to get away, things are more easily blown out of proportion and most of all we live in a society that worships the act of doing.
It’s kind of a bold claim but I can point to many instances where prayer is majorly criticized by secular society because it is not seen as enough of an action. And I would go so far as to argue that it doesn’t matter what we do or how well it works in accomplishing our objective so long as it appears we are “doing” something. It’s the calm, the inaction that really offends because it shakes off that sense of urgency and importance and, as in my case, reveals that humbling and humorous truth that the world is a lot bigger than we are, and stretches far beyond the little problems and difficulties that we encounter in our day.
Even the larger scale problems that affect not one, but many, lose that sense of doom when I remember to have a perspective that stretches beyond myself and my limited abilities to include frequent prayer and trust in God to do even what feels impossible. To be glad that God is bigger than me and believe that He works everything out for good in its time. Maybe the trick is just being willing to wait for it; to stay in tune with the graces He gives only in the present moment as we live it together.
This is what I think I like the most about prayer not that it changes God but that it changes me.
I can’t tell you how awesome it is to be blogging a bit more regularly again. After the silence of the hiatus, the heart and head eventually got so full that it was either time to write or go insane.
Fortunately, I chose to write!
Writing is sort of a miracle for people like me. A chance to get everything that tugs at the heart and mind into some form of print. It is cathartic and a total release and if other people out there connect with anything whatsoever that gets written it is sort of great, like finding a kindred spirit in this ginormous universe of ours.
My favorite thing about writing is that it takes thoughts, ideas, and emotions out of the shadowy corners of the mind or the tiny pockets of the soul and brings them into the light forcing them to fully form and come together. The best thing is that after you write something you don’t have to carry it anymore or you realize that you’re not the only one ever to carry it. And that always gives me hope for the struggle or joy in letting others know that not only is victory possible but that we’re all in this together.