When a person asks me where I think I’ll be in twenty years or where I want to be in twenty years, the answer I want to give, but never do for whatever reason, is serving. I usually make up some generic answer like being a loving mother and wife or having a successful job. In ten years, twenty years, or any amount of time into the future, I see myself aiming to love and living to give. At least, I hope so. I’m an activist, by nature, or I feel that way at least. I’m a fixer of problems, a helper where help is needed, or at least I hope you consider me to be that way. Maybe I’m just a selfish problem causer to you all, but I try really hard to be great. That’s the young woman I hope to be, I aim to be great. Recently, I’ve had to do some spring cleaning in the way of my priorities. A reevaluation is always necessary this time of year, it seems. I’ve realized that I have a hard time being the person I wish to be, living the life I wish to lead, and having the priorities I want to have because I’ve taken on too much. I don’t know how anyone does it though. How do you have the faith life you wish to have without sacrificing everything else? I’m not saying that as an excuse for having a lazy faith life, but rather as an actual question. How do you do it? I’m having a hard time giving up things that I love, that aren’t bad things by any means, to make the time for what matters more. I’ve been told that you have to approach it completely differently. You’re to say, where do all of these other things fit within my time for Christ, not the other way around. It’s so hard and I’m extremely frustrated with myself and not because I’m making bad choices or doing bad things, but because what I am doing still isn’t enough.
On a lighter, but still relevant, note, I’d like to share something really special to me with all of you. Often times when I pray, I find myself praying for the strength to be a servant, to care more, and to live selflessly. A large handful of times, I will be reminded of the Prayer of Saint Francis, which will be familiar to some of you, but then I’ll continue it. I extend the prayer to all of the things I pray for, which is probably strange sounding, but it’s what I do. It’s something I do as my own reflection as a prayer to better myself. It’s pretty obvious where my all too ungraceful additions begin.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon:
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
where there are tears, laughter;
where there is hurting, healing;
where there is injustice, proactive change;
where there is uncertainty, assurance;
where there is confusion, grace.
where there is stress, harmony;
where there are outcasts, tolerance;
where there is abuse, kindness;
where there is judgement, acceptance;
where there is hopelessness, love.