Have you ever felt inadequate? Insufficient? Not good enough?
Have you ever wondered what God’s expectation of you actually is? Do you constantly think you are failing? Do you see all the needs of the world and wish you could or think you should do more?
I don’t think God thinks of us this way. He’s our LOVING Father. He commands us to be faithful, not successful. Those of you out there who are parents – when your child learned to walk, did you get mad or disappointed every time your child fell? No, I’m sure you were so proud that he/she tried. And what did your child do? He/she got right back up. Every. Single. Time. So you think your child had an existential crisis every time? Probably not.
This relationship I just described is the same one God has with us. All he expects us to do is discern what we believe is His will and try to do it. God does not will for us to be perfect nor does He call us to be anyone besides who we are. He wants us to have peace – which means we must allow for time for Him and time to rest and time to waste on our passions and with our family. The kind of life He wants for us might not include fancy parties (unless hospitality is your charism), a perfectly clean home at all times , kids involved in many activities, etc . The life God wants for you might fit probably one of these things but that’s it. Make sure it’s your blue flame. Your family will benefit from a peaceful you more than a frustrated , tired, annoyed, resentful you that is trying to live up to others expectations. Make peace your priority.
Also who better than to teach us how God wants us to live than a modern saint like Mother Teresa. This was her daily schedule:
4:30-5:00 Rise and get cleaned up
5:00-6:30 Prayers and Mass
6:30-8:00 Breakfast and cleanup
8:00-12:30 Work for the poor
12:30-2:30 Lunch and rest
2:30-3:00 Spiritual reading and meditation
3:00-3:15 Tea break
4:30-7:30 Work for the poor
7:30-9:00 Dinner and clean up
9:00-9:45 Night prayers
So what can we learn from this?
- She took some quiet time to wake up.
- She spent a lot of time praying or doing some other spiritual activity. (Looks like more than 3 hours)
- She took time to rest and just enjoy life – look how much time she allots to meal times! I think most of us would only do a half hour for each in an attempt to get more done.
- According to my calculations she only spend 7 not 8 hours on her “job” of helping the poor.
- She didn’t sleep for 8 hours but she made rest a priority in the middle of the day.
- She had a set bed time and awake time.
- She had margin in her schedule – she doesn’t rush through anything.
- It seems very balanced. There are no excesses or deficits.
- She didn’t watch T.V. (Lol)
- She probably had to say no to some good opportunities to continue serving the way she did.
Also through my reading about Mother Teresa she did not think twice when it was time to move to the next block on the schedule- she told herself if something was left undone that it wasn’t Gods will otherwise He would have given her more time. And she had regular, predictable, uninterrupted time for prayer, rest, etc. Obviously your schedule will differ depending on your state in life but I think basically we are all doing a lot , more than enough, we probably aren’t praying enough though or resting enough. We let “efficiency” and “productivity” or an approval addiction dictate how we spend our time. Also we may let excesses like too much sleep or media time eat up our time or let deficits like not enough sleep take away our peace in our efforts to be perfect and get others approval. Also when deciding how to use our time, this idea from “A Mothers Rule of Life” is helpful-
The Five Ps:
Partner ( omit if this doesn’t apply)
Organize your schedule while sticking to these priorities – everything else there just wasn’t time for or you need to find help if possible.
Also remember we all have our crosses to bear. Some of us might be in a life situation where we are basically just surviving and that’s ok. Just remember though, not to take on crosses that were not intended for us. Sometimes our misery is self-inflicted because we are trying to be perfect. And if you are in survival mode, try to have a plan in place for when you are going to get out of it.
Basically God does not call us to do things we don’t have the time, resources, or capacity to do. He calls us to be faithful not successful.