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One of the things I really don’t like about life is monotony. That stuck in a rut feeling. The going through the motions feeling. The feeling that you’ve done something a thousand times and it just starts to lose meaning. 

I used to be a great helper at my Church doing things in the Youth Ministry. I would help plan events, keep meetings going, and lead small groups trying to help young Catholic teens find their way in life. For the past few months, maybe even longer than that, I haven’t been doing those things. Mostly because I felt like I was not really doing anything after a while. The Youth Ministry was falling off, as in not as many attendants (amongst other things), and with a steady job and other life duties that I felt were more important, it started to seem like a waste of time and money to drive myself 30-40 minutes away to try and bring back to life something that I felt was just not going anywhere. 

But I always sort of miss it in a weird way. I know that reaching one young teen through Youth Ministry is better than reaching none. But I don’t know, I suddenly felt out of place. I continue to try to live my faith away from my home Parish. Do the normal layperson life. Go to church on Sunday, lead a decent prayer life, etc. However, it feels like ever since I stopped doing Youth Ministry at my home Parish, it’s just been slowly slipping away. Heck, I even missed like 2 or 3 Sunday masses in the past 5 weeks. And I’ve always been diligent about going every week, regardless of what was happening.

The fire of the Holy Spirit was dying inside me, it felt like it had been prominent for so long. But just recently whittled down to a dying ember, barely visible in the chasms of my souls.

But then… something happened. At work, no less, where the monotony was at it’s peak, where things proceeded as normal at almost all times, when I least expected it.

It was Friday and I’ve been observing Lent as many Fridays as I could remember, eating no meat. And one of the special needs workers was asking me, as usual, if I was going to In N’ Out today. And, again, as usual, I began telling my tales of how great In N Out burger was, until it clicked in my head that it was in fact Friday. So i began to say that I could not go to In N Out because it was Friday. Most of them were kind of shocked. Like they had never heard such a thing. But one of them perked up real quick and said,

“Oh, you don’t have to do that, that’s a Catholic thing.”

I quickly answered back that I was Catholic. And suddenly the look on his face changed to one of disgust, but concern at the same time for we were good friends. And he replied,

“Wait… I thought you were Christian…” more concern fell over his face.

I quickly started to try and explain that Catholics are Christians but that not all Christians are Catholics. Before I was quickly interrupted and he said,

“No, no, no, those Catholics, they claim to be Christian but they are not. They just aren’t. You are not a Christian…”

Insert here list of all things uninformed Christians think Catholics are doing wrong and/or are strictly against Bible teachings etc.

I was taken aback. I was thrown for a loop. I was just totally unready. Apologetics came rushing through my head giving an answer for every single thing that was said that I knew to be completely untrue. But the words could not leave my lips. In the distinct monotony that had been filling my life suddenly I was standing face to face with words that I didn’t know I couldn’t bear to hear…

“You are not a Christian.”

The words echoed in my heart, they punched me in the jaw, my heart raced, my head pounded. I didn’t know I could become so distraught by such words. Almost as if I was becoming enraged and filled with anger. But something was different, it wasn’t anger that was rushing over me…. but fear. Fear that those were the exact words that God had been wanting to tell me. To tell me I was falling off the path, to tell me that I was becoming content with a dying spirituality, to tell me that I was not doing good enough.

I wish that I could say that I suddenly felt a renewed call to my faith, that the fire of my soul was ablaze with great passion, and all those other things that people say after going through such a crazy emotional experience. But I don’t think that’s what it was supposed to be. 

I think it was God blowing out my old dying ember in my soul but quickly reigniting a new one and saying, “Start again, you can do it…. I know you can.”

My friend quickly apologized to me about saying the things he said after an hour or so. But in my mind, I was thanking him, thanking him for saying that I was basically not doing my job. And hoping that I can rekindle this ember back into the fire of Love that the Lord has intended for me.

So please, keep me in your prayers as the Lenten season continues, that I may slowly feed this fire into something wonderful again.

There’s no place I’d rather be
There’s no place I’d rather be
There’s no place I’d rather be
Than here in your love, here in your love…

Set a fire down in my soul
That I can’t contain and I can’t control
I want more of You God, I want more of You God.

Set a Fire by Jesus Culture

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