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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Living in the Moment


I spent a little time in Adoration this evening, just feeling the need to be with Jesus. My brain has been full of so much, my life is naught but clutter, and I'm terrified of what's just around the bend. I'm going to start Grad school in August, but all that's covered by the scholarship is 1/3 of the 5 credits I'll be taking. What about the other 2/3's and the cost of books? Where's the money coming from?

What of my job? I didn't get the job I thought I wanted, which is fine...God knows best, but now what? I don't even know where to look. Accepting my current position almost 5 years ago has proven to be professional suicide; the last few years has rendered my work and experience completely invalid because I've been off my career path for so long on this useless tangent.

As my current Manager and my immediate Supervisor observed in a recent meeting, my life is taking a very different turn, it's recognized by people around me....but what they don't realize is that I have nowhere to go. I am completely at God's mercy because I can't get myself out of this grave I've dug so deeply.

And then there's this upcoming weekend...I just learned that my brother, his girlfriend, and my Mom are going to spend the night at my house on Saturday, and this place is a complete catastrophe! The spare bedroom doubles as a storage room and some time ago I began a "cleanup" project with the goal of getting rid of stuff. All I did was shuffle it around and discover some of the plastic totes I store it all in is not completely full, and I have paper records that go back about 10 years. I can't just throw it away because it has identifying info on it, and last summer I didn't get a chance to burn it in my friends' fire pit...and shredding this stuff in my shredder would take years of tedium.

I deal with enough filing and tedium at work, thank you. (I'm horrible with filing...my inbox is usually stacked to the ceiling. I "file" by mentally indexing what comes in every day and pulling it out when it's needed...THEN it goes into the file.)

As you can see, I have a problem with living in the present. I'm always off to the next thing. I'm always looking ahead.

I began doing this many moons ago when I was looking to escape the chaos of our home, knowing that salvation laid in planning for the future, having goals, and working hard to reach them. I learned early that I couldn't depend on anyone, and unfortunately, in those years, I really didn't understand that God was there asking me to depend upon HIM, and in spite of everything I did, God still came through for me when it was needed, although I didn't realize it at the time.

I've always been very "driven" and very "goal oriented" and it's so hard for me to take a step back and let God handle things. And where to draw the line between actively carrying out the tasks to reach the unknown goal God has in mind, separating trust in God from the sins of complacence and sloth?

Tonight at Adoration, I came to realize that we are all in a culture of "tomorrow" without learning to have an appreciation for "today" much less "this very moment".

As Mother Angelica has said, Jesus wants us to ask what he wants of us in this very moment, RIGHT NOW, wherever we are and whatever we are doing.

I have such a hard time with this. It's so simple, but I can't seem to handle the present. I'm so attached to the future that I'm tripping over my own feet to get there. Perhaps if I could pay attention to NOW I would see the obstacles in my way.

My thoughts turned to my childhood. I remember those years before school started, or those long summer days when school was out. I remember how the time seemed endless, the moments blissful, even in our boredom, we didn't worry about tomorrow. Certainly, we considered exciting events in the future, but our excitement didn't take us out of fullness of the present. We knew all about stopping to smell the roses.

It didn't matter what time the sun set and rose. I didn't care what the weather was going to be like in five days (unless a big storm was predicted...that's another story). I didn't care about TIME or what was going to happen in the future. I knew that all that was in Mom and Dad's hands, and if there was something I was supposed to do, they would tell me about it. I didn't have to set the alarm to get up in the morning...Mom would get us up. Mom would make dinner, and if she wasn't there, Dad would cook Spam and junket, or pizza and junket, and if Mom and Dad couldn't be there, then there would be a relative or a neighbor or someone else to provide for us. We didn't have to question anything. We could just live and do what we were told and all was well (mostly).

I really wish I could find this kind of faith in the Father in Heaven. I really wish I could learn how to be a child again, and not worry to much. Yes, the tasks I've been given are far more complicated and are time-bound, but within those times, there are many moments...why can't I just live those moments and TRUST in God to provide any additional direction?

I'm still worried about paying for Grad school. (Incidentally, I got the grade on my last paper today...a 98! God is so good, and John Paul II is my patron saint!). With this success under my belt, I am looking forward to further education, knowing I can do this, even if not to that level if carry a greater course load. I'm still worried about where to look for my next job because everything I worked so hard to know is useless.

So for now, the only thing I can focus upon is living in the moment, taking life one second, one minute at a time...because that's the only place where any of us can find Jesus. That's the only place we can come to understand our purpose, by asking constantly, "What is Jesus asking of me RIGHT NOW?"

Tomorrow will take care of itself...the Gospel makes this so clear, but how many of us heed those words?

18 comments:

Sanctus Belle said...

I paid for graduate school with loans. I know that's not ideal, but its reality for most grad students.

I pray you are able to find a job that will help pay your bills and for school. Would getting a roommate be a possibility? Could help you financially...just a thought. Could also be a great help in growing in patience - this is the case even living with spouse and kids!

I can relate to your stress and I'll offer an Ave for you this morning.

Anonymous said...

Sanctus ~ Loans aren't an option. As AMU is't accredited, there are no student loans available. I could get a personal loan, but the going percentage is 11% at best. I can get a better rate on a credit card!

I have considered getting a roommate, but my townhome is too small. I also don't know anyone needing a home although I'd be open to sharing my home wiht someone. I actually left a bad roommate situation which was one of the reasons I bought a house.

Now my house and car own me. *sigh*

Thanks for your prayers!

~ Adoro

swissmiss said...

Adoro:

Haven't heard all that came before this that got you to this point, but you have my prayers. It's hard to live in the moment and trust God, but I have found that it is exactly these times that (in retrospect always!), bring you closer to doing just that. I still want to take care of the day-to-day things and let God focus on the big picture instead of letting Him do it all. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy has helped me...Jesus I Trust in You.

I don't know what your schedule is like nor what you have already tried, but many employers pay for education expenses. Just a thought. Good luck in school!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Swissmiss!

Yes, it is these moments that teach us, but it's so hard!

I already looking into employer tuition reimbursement...the school would both have to be accredited AND it would have to be business related. Pastoral Theology does not qualify.

Of course I'm looking for a new job, but normally one would have to be emplooyed anywhere for a year before X employwer would allow them to use tuition reimb, as far as I know.

There are also no parish scholarships or ARchd. scholarships or grants available that I've found. My parish is in very dire financial conditions so a scholarship fund would not be in the works esp. for a lay person who doesn't even work in a church!

So this is all in God's hands, and if there are no funds when the time comes, then there will also be no Grad school, thus God's will will be very directly perceived.

If I take only 1 course, I might be able to swing that, but the books will go on teh credit card. Unfortunately, the scholarship is dependent upon taking 4 or more credits....if I can't pay the rest and books and addt'l fees, then I'll be stuck.

God's will be done. I wish He would just send me an e-mail and TELL me what to do, or send me a check in teh mail written out to Ave Maria or something. I'd be happy with that.

:-)

~ Adoro

UltraCrepidarian said...

I'll keep praying for you.

I struggle with "living in the moment" too, but with different things.

It's hard for me to choose to be really present to my boys, when I'm anxious and upset. My ex has ways of pushing buttons, and sending me over the edge, emotionally. It's all I can do to hold on.

After an upsetting incident, I usually retreat, and introvert for days. It's hard to be there and be the daddy my boys need me to be.

I always look forward, down the road, to when things will be 'better', or 'easier', and then i'll start praying more, or start really living more, or something.

There is no later. There is only 'what will I do now', and 'what is next' may or may not happen how we think.

Each day, you take a step. When I look at the picture over 30 or 90 days, or over the next year, I don't know how I can continue. When I take today, and do what I can, then I survive, and I am present, at least a little bit, for my own life.

Warren

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: Congrats on that 98! Never think that your time has been wasted. Even the most seemingly irrelevent or meaningless job/task has a purpose in His plan.

Melody said...

Cathy is right, that..."Even the most seemingly irrelevent or meaningless job/task has a purpose in His plan." I am working in (and enjoying) a job in a field I thought I had firmly closed the door on, years ago. And even if past experience has no direct bearing on one's ultimate career, the lessons learned and the people who touched our lives (and vice versa) are all part of the work of God in our lives. I'll pray for you, that God will guide you to where He wants you to be.

uncle jim said...

and at our parish, the High School Youth Minister just bailed this week

sure you wouldn't like to try your hand at that for a while?

and congrats on the 98, also

get a P O Box that can be used as a donation drop-box ... all your loyal readers will flood it with checks ... and all will live happily ever after

Adoro te Devote said...

Cathy and melody,

Yeah, I know I know...but it's really convenient not to remember that because I so want to get out of this hell-hole I've gotten myself into!

And that, right there, that "I want" is the reason I'm not a Saint. That, and I'm not dead yet.


Uncle Jim ~ I'm not sure Youth Ministry is my thing. I'm not into the "Life Teen" pop culture thing (in fact, I'd be recruiting teens for Gregorian chant choirs), I can't play the "cool" card because it's totally against my nerdy nature, and it's been a long time since I've worked with kids...and they burned me out. Granted, they were really emotionally, mentally disturbed and violent kids, but lots of bad memories there. I fear I'd go into "mental health counselor" mode if I worked with adolescents/teens again. LOL!

Of course, the experience would come in handy with that crowd...the teenage years are NOTHING but angst.

I highly doubt that any of my wonderful, loyal, readers would actually send me money for Grad school. I'd fall over dying, in fact, if that happened.

Although maybe I'll get an Amazon wish list when I get my book list for classes and see what happens.

So! Up for a vote...who is in favor of my getting a PO box for donations???

Is anyone even reading this post anymore?

Hidden One said...

I'm reading, Adoro.

My only advice to you, beyond what has been said, is to remember that confusion isn't from God. So flee from it, to Him, in whatever and every way you can. It's tough, and it's worth it.

Adoro te Devote said...

Hi, Hidden One, thanks for commenting.

Except that I'm not confused; I'm just stuck with no way out - under my own power, anyway. That's why this entire post was about "living in the moment", but it's gotten off track in the combox as everyone latched onto only the grad school thing. If I can't go to grad school it's not the end of the world. I'm facing far more issues than that.

My whole problem is actually appreciating the moment, dealing with each moment as it comes, and I think that's what God is asking me to do, because I can't seem to provide a future for myself, I can't get out of my job, I can't pay for school....and here I am. Trust is very difficult for me for many many reasons.

But it's not confusion. I thank God it's not confusion.

uncle jim said...

my check is ready but i have nowhere to send it

what say you, oh loyal readers?

uncle jim said...

As a side-bar comment, G-d so oftens tries to answer our prayers and we ingnore Him because, we surmise, that isn't the way G-d would do it ... yeh, like putting His Son on the cross - He'd never do anything like that, now, would He?

Incarnation - Jesus became man ... He became enfleshed. We are now His continuation: As St Paul writes, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives ... in me!"

So how should I respond to your need?

Ray from MN said...

Before you go for a P.O. Box, Adoro, open a PayPal account. It is an easy way for someone to send money to another person's email address. And only the receiver pays a tiny percentage.

It was originally set up to facilitate eBay purchases and became so successful that eBay purchased it from the original owners.

And now people use it for all kinds of reasons to send money to children, make purchases, make contributions, fund raising, blog "blegging", etc.

www.paypal.com

And you are indeed still on my Prayer List, Adoro.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we will give donations for the worthy cause of Adoro Te Devote!

Just do it!

uncle jim said...

Hey there, Ms Julie - time to get off your backside and get that PayPal account open.

Adoro te Devote said...

OK, I can't believe people are throwing money at me and I'm questioning it. Granted, for a purpose, but this is a little hard to take!

I actually DO have a paypal account I had to set up several years ago in order to maintain a membership at a certain website...that's the only way they would accept payment for the account or store items, etc. But I haven't used it in awhile and at that time, I only used it once or twice a year when I paied for my website account status, and I ALWAYS have to renew the password. Once again, I have no idea what it is. Or what email I had it under.

I appreciate your generosity, all of you, but I really need to pray about this very seriously before I say any more. I am very touched that people who have never met me are willing to help me in a very real way. It just kinda blows me away.

uncle jim said...

BELIEVE

Today is Pentecost - the wind is a-blowin' - listen