I don’t know about you, but this was a really challenging Lent for me. I was met with trial and temptation which led to frustration and guilt. By participating in a lenten fast, of giving up coffee creamer and monitoring time on social media, it created an opportunity to strip away a few ‘worldly’ things that were distracting me from communicating with the Lord. The last 5 weeks were an invitation to further enroll in ‘the school of myself’.
I have always given myself a good grade in patience. Working with small children and knowing how to handle basically any situation in the classroom has led me to believe patience came naturally to me. Turns out, patience was one area that Jesus invited me to take another look at. I mistakened my urgent lifestyle as prideful productivity. Multitasking was a daily occurrence! I would fold a load of towels while listening to a podcast or pray the rosary while on a run. This lifestyle fed me the lie that I was invincible.
Last week, I met a breaking point! It was one of the busiest days of the week and we had a school-wide prayer service. Because I am the only teacher with a sacristy key, I got to the church early enough to make sure all of the lights were turned on, the computer was connected to the internet and that the music videos were geared up. Within the first few minutes of the prayer service the internet stalled and automatically signed me out of the presentation. Ugh! I was so annoyed! I got myself logged back in and everything was working fine until the very last video. The internet stalled again and the video wouldn't load! After an awkward 30 seconds of silence, the principal jumped in and gave an impromptu talk to the students while I frantically did everything possible to make the video work. With despair I admitted defeat and told the teachers I would just email them the song and everyone left the church in silence. I was so embarrassed.
Luckily I knew I still had a few minutes before my next class to take a deep breath, fill my water and pull up the lesson for the next class….BUT as I was making my way back to my classroom I noticed the teacher dropping her class off 6 minutes early!! I completely lost it. I was so triggered and felt like my time was disrespected. All I wanted was a minute to myself instead I finished teaching that afternoon with a massive chip on my shoulder.
Because I had been limiting my time on social media, I took my day to prayer. I did not numb out to my surroundings by mindlessly scrolling for hours after school. Instead, I communicated to Jesus my frustration. In the days following, I continued praying about why I was so upset. Each day I prayed with John 10:10 ”I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Little by little it was revealed to me that the busy lifestyle I created for myself did not leave room for error. When things do not go as directly as I planned, I get rattled and upset. I become short and impatient with the people around me. How was that living abundantly?
It is almost comical that I never really meditated on what it meant that the Lord died and ROSE FROM THE DEAD!! Hearing those words has always gone in one ear and out the other. I have never reflected on the reality of Jesus rising from the dead for me personally. He did not undergo suffering and trial for a broad purpose. He rose from the dead with you and I in mind so that we may be freed from silly vices such as impatience. Living impatiently is not living abundantly, it is living selfishly.
On Good Friday, at the hour our Lord dies, I will lay my impatience at the foot of the cross. That does not mean that I will never be impatient again, but it is an invitation for me to allow the Lord to resurrect my heart in its place. Dive deep, what in your heart needs to be saved when Jesus rises on Easter morning?
Until next time~Your sister in Christ,