Stop and Smell the Roses
As we feel the Christmas season passing and we are returning to the "busy" of our daily lives, we tend to become absorbed in duties and worldly cares again. Certainly fulfilling our state in life is our path to holiness and we must complete our tasks well and with love. Yet, we seem to lose a sense of the sacred and peace of what Christmas reminds us.
Here is something I know I am guilty of. Always checking my phone. For texts, emails, social media updates, etc. For myself, I know this is way too many times a day. And it isn't necessary. Think, if I/we took those opportunities during the day to rather say a short prayer or perform some charitable action, wouldn't our lives be all that more worry free and filled with the peace of God? Then our cares would become His cares, and they would seem not so much like cares at all.
These methods of technology are not bad in themselves. Certainly don't be someone who waits days to respond to people, or who ignores messages received. That is the worst. What I am saying is that we tend to be overly absorbed in the affairs of others and it often makes us feel lousy about our own lives. For example, if you see a picture of someone on social media who is doing something you've always wanted, you become jealous. If someone was supposed to meet you, but here's a picture of them at a party with other friends, you become angry.
1 Peter 5:7 says: "Be you therefore humble under the mighty hand of God . . . casting all your care upon Him for He hath care of you." God wants to take our day to day worries, anxieties, frustrations, and occupations upon Himself. If we let God have a little more control in our lives and try not to hold that grip so tightly that everything has to go the way we want, we would experience that release called freedom.
Freedom is the ability to choose what is for our highest good, or also that leads us to our greatest end in God. And who knows this better than God Himself? If we surrender to His will, which manifests itself throughout the day, we shall find that inner joy that comes from knowing we are doing our best for God. This could be in simple things by taking care of our house like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc, which are all necessary things that irritate us but can be changed into a beautiful offering to Heaven. Or the frustrations of work and people who bother us and coffee spilling on us, which may not be God's direct will, but He permits these things for our growth in holiness. They are opportunities for virtue.
I am certainly not good at practicing these things myself. But keeping them in mind helps us to remember that peace comes from God's will, and we discover this best by maintaining an attitude of prayer. So next time you are going to check to see what all your friends are doing on social media, instead don't turn on your phone and rather say a simple prayer to God for all of those closest to you.