Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Change Your Semantics, Change Your Life
I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure out that I could gather my Lawn Chair Catechism thoughts into the journal I use for my beach devotions, but yesterday, it finally did, and I'm so glad! There is just so much in this deceptively small, easy-to-read book and the only way to personalize it and remember it all is to write down my thoughts as I read. (It also makes it easier to blog about it :-) So idea #1 from this post -- if you're reading regularly and not writing any of this down, maybe think about reading with pen in hand and journal at your side.
This week, we are on chapter 7 and I am once again finding that I could write so many things. And when I made a quick visit to the Catholic Mom site to check out this week's questions, I discovered that the thing I'd decided to blog about went in a completely different direction.
Don't get me wrong -- I love the whole (very important) focus on efficacious signs -- but that's another post.
This week, I decided to focus on the first thing that grabbed me. The thing that hit me squarely in the face as I sat on my patio reading two weeks' worth of chapters because I had fallen behind. The thing -- the "impairment" -- that renders me "unable to clearly hear God's voice unless [I] align [myself] with him and move toward him." (page 49)
Why was I sitting on my patio reading two weeks' worth of chapters?
Because I had allowed other things to move my reading to the bottom of the list.
I'm really good at making time for church. In fact, Sunday doesn't feel like Sunday without Mass. I'm also good at making time for choir practice, even though I hate our new scheduled time (but I digress -- kind of). And I'm great at finding resources that will enrich my prayer life. I've even written about them in my Tech Talk columns.
But what I'm not so good at is finding time to use them.
And you know what? Fixing that might begin with a simple change in semantics.
I find time to watch my favorite television shows and the ones I've recorded. I find time to do laundry and all the little things that aren't on my list but get worked in anyway.
But when it comes to the things that are important, I can't depend on finding time. I know this. I know that I won't get my writing in unless I make time to do it. The same is true for class planning or reading for pleasure. If I don't make time for them, they won't get done. Or, I'll be sitting out on my patio (or in my office) at the eleventh hour wondering how I got myself into this mess.
And that is not how I want things to play out when I meet St. Peter.
"Um, uh, well, I meant to read that verse/book/page/reading, but…."
But it isn't just fear that motivates me to change my semantics. I genuinely enjoy reading this book. I enjoy sitting down and doing the daily readings on the fabulous Word Among Us app that I pay for every month (that was supposed to be a nudge, too).
But they don't come with a ticking clock or a deadline or a disapproving look (unless you count that monthly bill). I have free will and I need to point it in the right direction.
I am the only one who can correct my impairment, and the only way I can do it is by accepting God's invitation (see chapter 2). God has held out his hand, and has even led me to resources that make spiritual growth enjoyable.
I think it's about time I RSVP'd.
So if you're"in the neighborhood" jot a comment below to ask me how I'm doing. When, in the busyness of life, did I "make time"?
Maybe we can help each other out.