Sunday, March 26, 2017

Joy in the Mess

I have been frustrated lately. Frustrated where I fall short. Frustrated that I have to start over, again and again and again. Frustrated that I fall short time after time.

This week it happened again. Specifically it is the food thing. I am trying to figure out what more I can do for my allergies and such. They are actually the best they've been in a couple of years, which does give me some motivation. But as the pollens start to do their thing, I'm getting hit by it. I don't relish fighting with asthma for the next several months (because when I get inflamed from allergies, it hits my airways). This last week, it has been nonstop coughing. Last night was the first time that I slept through the night in a week. I've coughed a few times today, but it has been short lasting and mild. It feels so good not to cough!

Anyway, I turn to the food. What can I tweak on my diet? I found some new resources, and at first I was fascinated and loving it, but as I kept reading, it all started to get really overwhelming. Absolutely no cheating in order to get things to straighten out. That makes sense to me, and I can handle it (in theory) for the eating side of things. But what's a Catholic to do about the Eucharist? I know that there are options available, but I hop around to churches right now, though I am a member of one parish. I don't really want to work on anything special right now. To only receive the wine doesn't work either, because of pesticides and stuff with the wine that is a problem. Then in frustration, I gave it all up and ate brownies and chips! Because that's the solution, right? Just quit.

Now, the food thing isn't a salvation issue. Frustration is normal. I'm going to take a step back and go somewhere between the extremes while I try to figure out what is the best answer for me. But I guess it brought up my frustration with myself in general. I haven't been to daily Mass like I wanted to this Lent, at all (and I was shooting for once a week, so not really an excessive amount!) I haven't done Adoration. I haven't been to confession like I wanted to, either.

I guess in the light of my frustration, the readings were especially interesting this week. I was thinking about God calling David to be king. Who was David? Sure, God sees the heart of a person rather than merely the outside, but God is God. He knew what David would do, good and bad. Let's not forget, David was a mess after he was king, but God called him knowing all that. Think about it, not only did God know the whole mess with Bathsheba would happen, but it is from her that Messiah is descended in David's line. This doesn't excuse messing up. It doesn't make sin okay, but God called David, knowing what it was that he would do. God still looked at David's heart and said, "This is the one that I want." Saul messed up, too, and God replaced him. I think the difference between the two, was that David's heart was repentant. Saul was not.

Then there was the second reading from Ephesians. Things in the darkness are shameful and not to be spoken of. Things in that are shown by the light are illuminated and will even become the light. Okay, the specific thing that this brings to mind is cleaning up after my little "friend". One of the most horrifying things to me was pushing the refrigerator out of the way to find what sort of parties he'd been having underneath there. That and the mouse couch. Both were nasty, between the dust and the mouse mess. I really wanted to ignore them and pretend that they weren't there. Clearly, that was no answer, either. Now that they are clean, though, it is amazing how much the whole house feels cleaner. And with those things clean, the other (non-mouse) messes are so much smaller and easily dealt with. It's worth shining the light on those corners, no matter how nasty it is in the short term.

My take away from this week, is that, yes, I am a mess. No, that's not okay, exactly, but it does not preclude me from being called by God to follow Him in the midst of it all. Lent is not over. I can still turn to Him now. As humans are, I can count on continuing to have to start again and again, and to repent again and again. The problem is to NOT try, and to give up altogether. Whether it is food, or the spiritual life or whatever we struggle with. The joy in the mess is that God sees it all, and calls us anyway.


  1. I receive only the wine because of my celiac, and just barely wet my lips. It only requires a drop to receive communion, so I literally try to do just that. I'm very thankful that my parish offers the wine year round - a lot of parishes around here don't from September through March'ish.

  2. You are concerned about 'pesticides and stuff' in the wine but just remember that usually the wine used in the Mass is of excellent quality and the intake of wine is so minimal (1 drop is enough for Holy Communion) that is very unlikely to receive a significant amount of anything that can harm you.

  3. Lolz @ "Then in frustration, I gave it all up and ate brownies and chips!" Go big or go home, right? :P But seriously, love this reflection!

  4. So sorry for the struggles but amazing reflection ~ thank you!