I wake up, turn on the computer, check the weather and a few e-mails, shower, study and work through the day, using spare minutes to check my blog roll and more e-mails, eat dinner, then watch TV shows on DVD with my family until I either fall asleep on the couch, or drag myself up to bed, brush my teeth, and collapse. When I take the time to kneel before crashing, my prayer often sounds like the title of this post: a group of over-used excuses for why I did not spend more time with God in prayer that day. Now, the day I just described is not entirely accurate, because I honestly do have many important things to do, and often times I am doing them for God. Violin lessons, pro-life work, baby-sitting, and family time are hardly mindless, selfish activities. But, it's my spare time that I am not using wisely.
While reading a post on The Catholic Young Woman blog about this same topic, this line struck a chord with me: "If we cut out some of the mindless entertainment we indulge in (myself included, girls!), would we find that we’re really not as busy as we thought…and perhaps we have more time for prayer, service, and personal growth than it seemed?" (read the rest of this wonderful post here).
I have a feeling that if I took this to heart, I would discover that much of my time has not been used wisely as of late. One look at where my spiritual life stands right now can tell me that much: my plan to read the Bible this year has (once again) failed, as I said above too many of my days end with excuses instead of simple, peaceful nightly prayers, my days start and end with electronic devices, and I'm just not happy with where I am right now.
An article in the last issue of the National Catholic Register entitled "Pray, Date, Marry" advised women to "' become the woman of your dreams'", meaning- spend this precious time becoming (to use a Matthew Kelly phrase) the best-versions-of-themselves, that way when God brings either a man or a challenge into their lives, they will be ready to handle it in a way that glorifies Him.
This is my Summer Challenge: to take a good look at the way I spend my time, and do my best to spend it in a way that pleases God and also makes me feel at peace with myself. It's time for boot-camp, to get myself in shape physically, mentally, and spiritually, so that I can better serve my God and my fellow men.
Enjoy this video, which drives the point home in an extremely funny and effective way.
May God bless all of you as your summer adventures begin!