“Father, Forgive Me for I am Frustrated…”

In case you wanted to know, today was one of those days. It was one of those days when I woke up in time to actually enjoy getting ready in the morning – one of those mornings when I have time to do important things like shave, blow-dry my hair, and eat breakfast.  And the cherry on the sundae: I left for work 20 minutes early so I could have some time to get a cup of coffee, check my email, and get a headstart on my workday.  It was a good morning.

Until I got in my car. And remembered that somehow purple-ish paint-looking stuff had managed to find its way all over my new, white Civic yesterday while it was sitting in the parking lot at work. Boo.

My first thought was, “God is testing me. I have a choice in this moment. I can choose to be annoyed or I can choose to accept, not think about it, and move on. I can do this, after all didn’t I just post something on my own blog the other day about taking the frustrating, day-to-day moments in life with character?” Sure, God, I can do that.

And things were going well, for about three minutes, until I discovered that traffic was awful. For those of you who know me well, then you might know that sitting in traffic is for me is purgatory on earth. Especially when I have my own carefully laid out plans for the day and I’m ready to start them. It took me over 45 minutes to get work, and instead of getting there 20 minutes early I got there 20 minutes late.

To make things 1000 times better, I remembered that today is THE DAY. The day in which I get to stare into an Excel spreadsheet all day long tediously typing in student and parent evaluation statistics from every single school that I taught in last year. Does that not sound fabulously exciting to you? I. Hate. Excel.

And, I should probably add that when I am frustrated I am not the nicest of people. It was in the midst of all this jumbled mess of decimal points and confusion that I noticed that my coworker actually had decided to take his work into another room and do it. I wonder why.

The only thing that can remotely remedy a day like this for me (and to keep my office staff from killing me) is Mass. So, after being at work for a whole two hours, I headed downtown for noon Mass. Again, I intentionally left early and accidently arrived late, pulling into a metered space. This is my favorite part of the day: I’m sitting in my car searching for my prayer book when I happen to notice that there is a cop on the other side of my car writing me a $70 parking ticket for the expired meter WHILE I AM SITTING IN MY CAR. Yep.

Now, it just so happens that I have my daily meditation to do after Mass. My meditations and daily resolutions are written by Legionary priests – not me -thank God, probably because He knows that my own chosen meditations and resolutions for myself would be lame and spritually un-fruitful. And that’s true. It’s been a difficult summer for me, and so many times these past few months, whenever I’ve gotten discouraged, whenever I am having a hard week, whenever I am a colossal emotional train wreck, and whenever I need to stretch my heart in a new direction – God is right there. And so I look forward to my daily meditation.

However, as Fr. Corapi once stated so eloquently: “God is not above kicking your ass.” My add-on: “Especially when you’re in a ticked off mood.” So I happen to skip down the page and see my resolution for the day: “I will work on being a good and positive motivator today.” *Pause.*My first thought: “Oh, COME ON, God, how dare you give me a resolution about something that I actually need to work on today. Really?”

I backed up and read the meditation. “Christ’s first tasks are usually not that hard for us to execute: simply material compliance and a little generosity. But if we let Him ride with us long enough, He will eventually ask for something that demands faith and may go against our reason or personal comfort.”My second thought was a little more rational – a Bible verse that has been one of my favorites since my senior year in college: “Simon, son of John, do you love me….Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young you fastened your own belt and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” (John 21:17-19)

Where you do not wish to go. Sometimes, all God wants of you is just to follow Him and to trust Him. Every day. It seems to me that I never have a bad day except when I’ve already had a bad week. And that is probably precisely the way He wants it. Because it is exactly in those moments  when I do have a choice: am I am going to choose to trust Him and follow Him in the big AND the little things in life, especially when it is the hardest to do so?Especially the times where you have no idea what he wants for your life? Even when your plans are not His plans? Especially in the days where you have an opportunity to bring joy into someone’s life but you just don’t feel like it? Or maybe you just hurt. What do you do? One of my college professors once told me, “Choosing to follow Christ is not nearly as hard as continually choosing to follow Christ.” Every day. Totus Tuus.

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