Retreat, pray, and trust . . .
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord.
In the snowy and cold days of winter, there has been more time to contemplate—that is, if we allow ourselves to do it. Having no place to go, no one to meet, and nothing to do forces us to just “be”.
As we travel through Lent we are reminded of Jesus’ journey into the wilderness. Times of quiet and no planned activity can be a time of great opportunity, as often out of the darkness comes new insights and a better understanding of God’s path for us.
I am a big procrastinator. When I was completing my doctorate, I was the queen of late night sessions, trying to complete assignments or papers that I had put off until the last minute. I always got them done, but sometimes the stress of doing so took its toll.
Procrastination is not just about tasks though. It can also be the mere lack of attention to the important things. These can be ordinary things like taking the time to connect with those we love, doing something unexpected but appreciated for someone, or even asking for forgiveness or a blessing for someone with whom we are estranged.
How do we go about getting to those difficult things, even when we have more time? We might feel discouraged and think that we cannot change things in our lives. Maybe we are afraid that new directions may be too hard and we will not have the strength to step outside our comfort zone.
But there is an answer if we allow ourselves to let God show us the way and trust that we do not have to force our own ideas of what is right. There is always a path, if we are willing to be patient and to listen. It might not be what we originally envisioned, but sometimes the new way may be something even better. We each have a special place, a worthiness in God’s eyes and we can always ask for guidance and we will be directed.
So retreat to that dark and sometimes scary place and be open to the conversation. Give in to the good procrastination of prayer and you will be blessed by doing so.
Prayer: God—be with me during my times of uncertainty and open me to the new possibilities that are always present when I allow you to lead the way. Amen.