All tagged jesus

Struggle.

The past 24 hours have been fairly stressful to get through. Someone decided that they wanted to use my bank debit card to pay a bunch of their bills. Fun right? I did what most of us do when this happens...promptly freak out, collect my thoughts and called my bank. I called my bank because they're supposed to be the ones that make all of this right again, after all I'm a valued customer right? Turns out it was just made worse when I gave my bank a call. Thinking that this could be resolved easily I then find out that it actually can't. It takes time (up to 10 days) to resolve and all the while I get to sit here and watch the violations on my account just mock me. There were also customer service issues that came up: being told 3 different things by 3 different people is an major organizational failure to me.

Forgiveness.

I used to hold grudges, walk around mad at someone or a group of people who I felt wronged me, was poking fun at me, etc. I look back on it now and realize that it was all for nought. These days I take a much different approach. I had this lightning bolt moment a few weeks ago with the recurring theme of if Jesus forgives everything I do why shouldn't I forgive everything someone does against me? Who am I not to forgive? Who are we not to forgive? By not forgiving our neighbors for what they do are we proclaiming that we are somehow above the Lord in this regard? That's the third rail of religion for me friends (touch it and you die) and I'm not going there.

Surrender.

Perhaps my greatest struggle to date is surrendering my heart, body and soul over to God. There were a few reasons I felt the great desire to surrender:

  1. In order for me to properly discern this call to a priestly vocation I had to trust in God completely that he would lead me down the right path even though he writes straight with crooked lines. 

  2. When I came back to the church some months ago I had a deep desire for forgiveness. You need to understand that I went 18 years without going to church or confession regularly. And now that I look back and know that I had a calling 18 years ago that I shoved it off for such a long time I felt what was probably the deepest guilt that I had ever felt. I've since discovered that I shouldn't feel guilty and that all of this was part of the path I was always meant to go down. I never would have come to that understanding had I not surrendered.

  3. Peace and Joy are important pillars of my life. Without surrender one can never really achieve levels of peace and joy that make you feel fulfilled.

It's not about me anymore.

This life isn't about me. It's about how can I serve God, my family and you my brothers and sisters.  I'm astounded by how many of my friends that I've included on this journey of mine that come to me just to chat or for some advice. I love listening to people talk. Whether it's hope and dreams, issues they're going through (both faith/spiritual based and not) for me it's about being present for them and offering up an ear and maybe some advice or guidance if I can.