Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Lord is calling

This morning as I rose to say my morning prayers, I made a misstep. This happens, not too infrequently in my life, missteps I mean. I do tend to wake up every morning, and gladly so. But, this morning I rose, my body aching, and thanked God for the new day and the new opportunity to serve him. Then, I went about my business trying to forget how painful my muscles and joints felt, not realizing how foggy my mind was in waking.

I completely overlooked my morning prayers.

I got distracted.

By what, you ask? Drywall mud and a 18"x20" patch I have been fixing in our Master bathroom. My intention was to get up, take care of the morning necessities and sit down to say my prayers. The reality was, I got up and moved right into the busy-ness that is life. I didn't even recognize that I had skipped that beat until I sat down at the breakfast table with my husband and blessed my food.

"Aggghh", I said to myself. "I forgot to say my morning prayers."

I looked at my husband, took another sip of my coffee, and asked, "What is wrong with me? Why am I always in pain? Why do  I get so distracted, even at waking. "

Having lived with me for nearly 25 years now, he just doesn't have anymore possibilities left to offer. We have exhausted every medical professional on the subject of chronic pain. I don't test positive for any of the big pain diagnoses. I am repeatedly check for Lyme disease, rheumatoid, lupus. I suffer chronic migraines as a result, or perhaps as a cause, no one is quite sure. It's even been proposed that I'm depressed. Well, let's just say, I wasn't when all this started 13 years ago, but I may just be now. Although, when I tried an antidepressant to help with the body pain and migraines, I had a terrible reaction that landed me in the hospital. My conclusion: NOT DEPRESSED.

Well, back to morning prayers. I was irritated with myself, but not defeated; that's the key. I stopped what I was doing, picked myself up and brought myself to a quiet place to say my morning prayers. As I read the Psalm, I just had to laugh. Here it is:
At first light I cry to you,
  I put all my hope in your word.
In the night I keep watch,
  pondering your sayings. (Ps 118)
You know, that is exactly what I do. I cry out to God every morning, in pain and in hope that all this suffering has value. I don't want to live a day wallowing in self-pity. My desire is to make this suffering efficacious. "Who needs this from me, Lord? Give it purpose!" And, at night, I top off my evening with night prayers with my family and quick glance at what the people I care about have been doing all over the world, and right in my own back yard. I do ponder God's word, typically reading my friend Nicole Demille's shared Facebook posts that offer inspiration, quotes, etc. about God, His Love and His Mercy.

I think the Lord is saying to me, "You're trying, dear girl. Keep trying. Accept my grace. The cross I've given you isn't light, but I can see you pick it up everyday; I can see you scraping it behind you with every step you take."

It also reminds me of a quote from Don Bosco:
"The chief thing is to take the burden on one’s shoulders. As you press forward, it soon shakes down and the load is evenly distributed."

Ahhh, I am comforted. The Lord knows and makes my burden even out. I am not presuming. Don Bosco makes it clear. God just wants me to do my best. He will distribute the load evenly over time, but I must be willing each day to carry it.

I will keep those four lines from Ps 118 and the quote from Don Bosco close to me. They are words of encouragement, and words to live by. There is no failure when you make an honest effort, only when you give up in defeat. It wasn't too late to say my morning prayers. There was no need to search for an excuse in my suffering. I just needed to respond the moment I realized the Lord was calling. That was the perfect time.

Don't feel defeated by your mistakes or your suffering. The Lord is calling you, too. He never stops calling. Take a moment to listen, to love and to serve.


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