Monday, March 11, 2013

Making the most of Lent by relying on God's plans

           Its Lent- solidly the middle of Lent- and I guess maybe my chosen sacrifices were not quite enough to really advance my relationship with God to a place of deeper appreciation, love, trust, dependence…. But, God is always willing to help me out.   His call to greater things always seems to include lots of opportunities to practice them.

            I pray for more patience- God obliges with heavy traffic, over tired kids, the phone ringing off the hook while I am trying to work through difficult math concepts with my not very mathematical 4th grader.  Voila- instant opportunity to practice patience!

            So its Lent and I know that Lent is really about growing closer to Christ.  But, even with my very intentional Lenten undertakings- there are obstacles to holiness in my life.  I still struggle to really put Christ at the center of my life and to trust completely.  

            God is blessing me with a lot of supernatural help.  

First, our computer got a virus last week.  Too much time on the internet?  The computer distracting me from serving God more faithfully?  He’s got a solution for that! 

Now, as far as viruses go, we were very lucky.  It did not wipe out our computer’s entire memory.  I did not lose the pictures from Christmas or my children’s birthdays that were not backed up on a disc yet.   And I was still able to access the internet - sort of.  But the computer was not quite right and every time I started to do something on it, it would start to act up.  Tim worked on it a lot over the weekend and the virus is apparently gone but the computer is still not back to normal yet.   But, I have spent a lot less time on it lately.

Then (and this one I knew was coming, of course) Tim resigned his position as youth minister at our parish.  He has been a youth minister for nearly five years, but the last two years it has been his part time job, which he has done in addition to a full time job (and taking online courses to get his master’s degree).  He and I have talked about it a lot this year and prayed about it a lot.  Together we discerned that it was time to move on from youth ministry.  

Ministry is such a rewarding endeavor but when it becomes nearly impossible to put your whole heart and soul into it, the challenges can start to affect your ability to do it well.  Ministry should never be just another thing to fit into the schedule.  It should be something you devote all your time and energy to.  That is not an option for Tim anymore.   So we knew it was time and this was best.

            But, that means we have gone from three sources of income (between Tim’s two jobs and my one) to just one in a matter of three months.  There is no way we can NOT feel the financial crunch and we are not quite sure how we will manage the budget now.  

            Having trouble trusting in God?  Feeling like I have everything under control and can handle it on my own?  God can fix that too!  

            Lent is an opportunity to turn back to God and to listen more closely to Him.  I am trying a little harder today to do just that…because HE’S the One who has it all under control…….  

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