Life’s Simple Guide To God is turning out to be a creepy book. Seriously, I’m getting jumpy and starting to look over my shoulder so often that my neck is getting stiff. It’s like the authors have a window into my mind and wrote this book just for me. I know that sounds egocentric, but the world is flat and all roads lead to ME, right? [For those who haven’t grasped my humor, this was my unruly sarcasm coming through.]
Okay, I’m back. I was having trouble coming up with a topic for my Sunday post. I thought I’d write about the women’s retreat I went to a couple weeks ago, but right now, none of the topics are begging to be written. I opened up my Life’s Simple Guide To God book and flipped a couple pages (I haven’t read it for several days) and found this subject: Practice More Walk, Less Talk.
In this topic, the authors point out that while our words are good, they are not enough. If we encourage others to put their faith in God, our lives should reflect that we have put our trust in God. If we tell others that we should love each other, but don’t follow through by loving people in our lives, then we are hypocrites and our words are diluted, if not meaningless.
This is so true – our actions do have so much more impact than our words. With my kids, I am constantly talking to them about manners. I remind them to say “please”, “thank you” and “you’re welcome”; scold them for interrupting; lecture them that burping doesn’t belong at the table; and nag them to use napkins instead of their shirts. Still, in nearly every social situation, they need a nudge to shift their manners into gear.
A few weeks ago, we took the kids to a theme park. I spent most of the day in the kiddie section with my younger son. I noticed that many of the ride operators looked bored and that not many people acknowledged them, so I made a point to say “thank you” as we exited each ride. To my surprise, my younger son started saying “thank you” after a couple rides. I practiced the walk with my manners, and he took notice – more so than me telling him to be polite.
After I returned home from the women’s retreat, I was so excited to read more of the scriptures that were referenced, continue with my reading of Matthew in the Bible, and possibly learn more about myself. I learned more about myself all right.
I discovered that I’m a lazy procrastinator. Well, to be honest, that’s not a complete surprise – procrastination runs in the family, along with stubbornness and diabetes. Now, if I can’t make time to do these things I really wanted to do, you can imagine where this leaves the tasks I don’t want to do, right?
I’ve talked about embarking on this spiritual journey, but this week, it was all talk – there was no walking. I felt farther from God than I have in a long time. I’m left with a vague sense of failure because this week, I let others’ negativity bring me down, my patience went missing, I worried about the state of the world and spoke in anger – and I did this all by myself. At no point did I say a prayer and ask God for strength, patience, peace or understanding.
Acknowledging failure is the first step to unburden myself from it. I truly dislike the idea of scheduling every detail of my day, but I’ve seen that left to my own devices, important things won’t get accomplished. So that my spiritual journey doesn’t stall, I’m going to have to schedule reading and reflection time every night.
I don’t expect perfection from myself, but I do challenge myself to put forth my best effort (which I did not do this past week). I won’t dwell on this because I look down this past week’s long tunnel of failure, and beyond that, I see the hope of next week and the opportunity to be a better “me.”
How do you get yourself “right” after a week that’s gone “wrong?”