Becoming Holy

My Biggest Challenge

on September 16, 2013


“Do what you are supposed to be doing when you are supposed to be doing it.”  

These are words from a talk I listened to last night~words that have awakened a new spirit in me. The speaker began with Revelation 12:6, “The woman herself fled to the desert where she had a place prepared by God.”  He placed emphasis on the word, “place” and repeated how important it is for each of us to find the place God has prepared for us and to be fully present there.  This has been my biggest challenge of late…perhaps it has always been my biggest challenge~knowing my place and being fully present there!

I have been struggling to figure out my place.  New community, new circumstances.  Children growing up, moving out.  Lots of change.  Something the speaker said struck a chord in me.  He spoke of “acedia”~better known as sloth.  I had always associated slothfulness with being lazy and hadn’t given that sin much thought.  Slothfulness took on new meaning for me when it was defined as “not doing what your supposed to be doing when you are supposed to be doing it.”  Now that is a problem!  It is easy for me to be “out of order” ~doing things too late at night or in a hurry. Previously, this had seemed virtuous~working to the end of the day to get it all done! As I was processing this, he added that being a workaholic is slothful. If one works hard at something that is either not what they are supposed to do or works at a time when they are not supposed to be doing it, it is sloth.  

A second category of sloth was being curious.  He spoke of the early desert fathers and how they went to the desert to find their place. They focused on what they had to do~not engaging in curiosity, but living a life of prayer. People today, self included, are so into what everyone else is doing.  It is easy to compare and worry~”how do I measure up?” Being curious leads us to make a great deal of far off places.  To always live in the future and imagine how things will be great when this or that happens.  Curiosity and living in the future keeps us from doing what we are supposed to be doing when we are supposed to be doing it. It makes us forget our place.  Our here.  Our now.

His words spoke to my angst.  I know my place.  I am wife.  Mom. Teacher. Friend. I live in THIS house, not the one we are building.  I am raising THESE children~not saving the world.  I have floors to sweep and beds to make.  I have ouchies to bandage and foreheads to kiss.  I have students to teach and prayers to say.  I do not need to be Joe.  I do not need to be one of my amazing friends. I do not need to start a group.  It is not time to look to far off places and imagine how life will be.  I need to do what I am supposed to do when I am supposed to do it.  The time is now. Challenge accepted.


2 responses to “My Biggest Challenge

  1. g says:

    ouch….hit a sore spot, spot on! I so needed this, although I have to admit, it’s not what I wanted to hear. So often I work and accomplish much, but it’s a form of self flattery…look how much i can accomplish….;look how hard I work….LOOK what I cAN dO!! Instead of living in my place…here now. Need to talk to you! Sorry I missed you on Sat…been under the weather!

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