Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My 4 Step Program

I know there are programs that involve 12. As of right now, my life revolves around 4.

Before I started my new gig as a teacher, my spiritual director reminded me to make equal time for 4 areas of my life:

-school (aka my personal development- something I'm doing for myself)
- social
- spiritual

Seems easy, seems like a no brainer. In fact when he mentioned these things to me, I was like really? I pay you for this? Oh, wait. Right. I don't pay him... ;)

But I'm finding, as usual, easier said than done. Especially with first year teaching. Work has come first. Social second. Spiritual and School have been a tie for last until recently with spiritual taking a late lead, only because I found myself going to Mass on Sunday not really wanting to be there... because I knew it would only make me think of work. Yikes! So I knew I had to kick up the one on one prayer time stat!

Such is the life of a youth minister or any area of ministry that we make our work. There is always the temptation to make that the way WE are nourished spiritually, and it can't be so! It was so clear to me on Sunday that I need to be making time for me and God just one on one, not bringing in possible lesson plans or thinking about what material I could use for class. Just talking to God and listening to what He wants to give me for just ME.

I knew right before I started getting into teaching and this school year that I was going to need to rely on God more. And I'm glad to be continually getting those reminders. I'm also so glad to have a ministry job at a Catholic school because it does inevitably get me thinking more deeply about faith, even if my "work" and "spiritual" categories sometimes get overlapped in a way that isn't necessarily helpful. I am grateful for the opportunities that come with the gig.

I also am again seeing how far I've come. A year or so ago, heck a couple a months ago, this passage from Proverbs I may have just glossed over (Proverbs, by the way, makes me think of the Scripture class I'm teaching. I just introduced the Wisdom books. I also think, why is the first reading tomorrow from Proverbs? We had just been reading from St. Paul. Wonder if I could use that in my Sacraments class. We are talking about liturgy....and so on and so on. See my problem?! My work-brain never. shuts. off now. Bah.):

"Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die: Put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; (provide me only with the food I need);
Lest, being full, I deny you, saying, "Who is the LORD?" Or, being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God." - Proverbs 30:5-9

Provide me only with the food I need. Certainly not a prayer I understood 2 years ago. "Abandonment to Divine Providence" and a little Divine Providence Himself have shown me how to love this type of prayer. That and also, I don't have time for an over abundance of anything right now :)

But I can say I truly only want what is given to me right now. I know it's all I can handle, and I trust that God will give me what I need when I need it. Progress?? I think so.

Okay, and maybe that progress involves more than four steps. Try: 29 years of life, 20+ years Catholic school education, 110, 209, 509 hard knocks, 1 volunteer year, 9 months in a convent, 2 or so years discerning...

Yeah. That's probably more accurate :) And counting...

Life is good! Teaching is hard! Teenagers are...teenagers! But I'm asking only for what I need in these moments and God is faithful. Please keep up the prayers!


1 comment:

Molly said...

Nice post! I love that you're studying Proverbs. Things sound good for you.