24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV
I woke up this morning at 5:30 am thinking it’s Friday. I literally jumped out of bed. Then it dawned on me, “No! WAIT a minute – It’s Saturday!” Still dark and cloudy out, I let myself sleep in a little longer, “Heck it’s Saturday morning, I’m going back to bed”. I have time. Yay, I can relax and sleep some more.
Unfortunately by 7:00 am I have a coffee headache and regardless of how cozy it is in bed, I need a coffee (I am so lucky my kids haven’t discovered coffee yet)! My coffee habit (along with smoking – which I kicked in my 30s) started during my formative years in university, when smoking and drinking was allowed in lectures. Really? Yes, I recalled many lectures and seminars as an anthropology undergrad being subjected to chain smoking and tipsy professors – this was the norm in the 70s. I remember rolling out of bed (as I lived a block away from the university), and grabbing a coffee to wake up. I recall having terrible habits as a student, from irregular sleeping pattern (partying all night), to bad eating habits, along with having a messy apartment littered with books, piles of unwashed dishes, and a basketful of dirty laundry. I had many mishaps – from dropping my gold bracelet (Chinese gold and a gift from mom) while doing the laundry – the machine chewed it up. There was the time I dropped my keys between the crack of the elevator and floor. There was also the dangerous incident of crawling on the outside banister of my balcony to ask my neighbor get the superintendent to open my apartment door – I had locked myself out. I can imagine the many times my superintendent and neighbor silently cussed me. I was irresponsible! I don’t know how I managed to survive as a reckless student. I thank our Almighty God for always keeping me safe and in His sight.
As a result of my own messy past and habits, I tried to instill healthy ones in my children. When they were young, I remember quoting from Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 rules for life (I even went to the extreme of purchasing this book to gift my son and his best buddy – before I realize how ineffective it was to preach on something when they don’t want to hear it – Ole the mores of life lessons!). Today their bed is still messy (first rule being “make your bed”). I either overlook the mess, or I make it for them.
My daughter, son and husband each have their own way of organizing themselves. The more I try to intervene and create order, the more chaotic it gets. Life lesson here is basically for me to step back and let them figure out their own system for managing their time.
The mores of daily life
In the past (pre-Covid-19), I let the beat of a job organize my day and life. Along with the excuses of being a busy mom, workaholic and the mores. In the name of being tired, I use to sit in front of my computer playing online games (Oh did I ever mention being a gamer?). Another time waster was binge watching Chinese and Korean television series. As I fell into the daily ho-hum of life, I easily lived in forgetfulness. God was easily casted onto the wayside of my busy day. “I forgot” became a motto as other “stuff” gets in the way of my praise and worship.
With the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, I started working from home. The opportunity to reset my life was given to me by the Grace of God. I see this pandemic as God’s way of telling me and the rest of humanity to get my/our “house” in order. It is His call for me/us to return to Him.
Reorganizing priorities in my life was the start of re-establishing relationships. By making a conscious decision to put God first, my relationships with my children and husband is transformed and falls into a natural order. I am a calmer and nicer version of myself, and I feel my heart open up to those around me. Believe me, it is hard to do this alone, for my flesh is WEAK! It is only through daily prayer to Jesus that I can keep walking close with Him.
Like my morning coffee, I can’t go through my day without taking the time to pray. First, I made a comfortable space in my bedroom for quiet time with God. Through prayer, I ask Jesus on a daily basis to put Him first – this is a conscious request I make to Him. The Prayer of the Rosary has also become an important start to my day. Sometimes I pray the Rosary during my morning walk with Candy (I listen to it – available through iTunes), or I pray it in my quiet space. It has become the most anticipated part to the start of my day. It is my time to reflect upon the Passions, and ask Holy Mary to intercede on my behalf. Walking also opens my eyes to the beauty of God’s handiwork in my neighborhood. I actually start to think about my neighbors, and take the time to talk and pray for them.
There is hope admidst the chao
I love participating in morning Mass via live stream. My parish makes this available because of restrictions mandated by Covid -19. I look forward to this – it is my spiritual nourishment. It lifts my Spirit and opens my heart to Jesus. The Eucharist and partaking in the daily Sacraments – virtually – and by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit is an important start to my day. This is my personal time to meditate and think about God’s gift of faith to me. Partaking in the Eucharist also gives me a deeper understanding and affinity to Jesus.
Starting my day spiritually keeps me focused on walking in the light. Afterwards, I can go about my daily routine with a joyful song in my heart. No matter how hectic my work can get with deadlines and ever changing government protocols due to Covid – 19, I can handle it all – WHY? – because the Holy Spirit works within me.
My hope and prayer for all, is that you find your personal time with God amidst your busy day. May you find peace and hope within the chaos that looms over all humanity. For those of you living alone, it takes stepping out of your comfort zone to check out where your local parish or church is. It also means checking out their website to find their schedule for online streaming. Some local parishes and churches also offer Praying the Rosary through zoom.
With all of you in my heart, I pray to Jesus, to let His Holy Spirit move your hearts and mind – and let Him in.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8:12 NSV
Praise be to God!