Benny, seminarian in the Saint James Vicariate, writes for us about a very important subject during Advent.

busy

Many times, as modern people, we feel that life pulls us in all kinds of directions and bombards us with so many different commitments that at the end, even if we wanted to, we will not even have time to devote ourselves to God.

This question is very important and we should stop a minute to think about the root of the problem and what possible solution can be found.

1. Maybe the approach is wrong. In most cases, those who think so fall into the trap of those who put God into the categories of "things to do" or "hobbies". So, these people try with all their might to integrate God into their time frame, making time and space between things to "give" something to God as a sign of love. This perception is wrong because God is not a pagan idol that needs to be satisfied in order to derive benefit in life. God deserves much more than a small window in our time; God wants the switchboard, the heart.

With regard to this problem, one can undertake a drastic change of attitude, that is, by doing everything with God. We can get up in the morning and start with a spontaneous prayer of thanksgiving that we are still alive, and then invite God to accompany us throughout the day, even in the most trivial moments. Then it will be possible to accept the day as it comes (with the planned and the unexpected) and continue to ask God to help us whenever challenges become difficult. It may be that at the end of the day we discover that we did not say even one prayer, but that throughout the day we were spiritually connected and even united with the Creator.

2. There is no church close by to pray in. This is another very common mistake: to think that one can only meet God in a particular physical place - the church. It is true that in every institutional church, God's presence is special and privileged (thanks to the Eucharistic presence in the bread of life), but God is everywhere because God dwells in us. So, we have to abandon the pagan perception of God stuck in the shrine, like a prisoner who we must go to visit. We are the Temple, our hearts the sanctuary: it is enough to focus in on God and encounter God right there.

3. God is not far away. Another reason why we feel that we do not have time for God is that we often throw on God all kinds of patterns that come from the experience of our lives. We think that God is strict, full of demands, heavy, serious, scary ... So, to devote time to prayer means to be in a state of mind to sit down and hear all God’s complaints about me. Mistake!

With regard to this problem we can deal with the true relationship with God revealed in our Scriptures and traditions. It is the opposite of what we might have suspected. God’s main purpose is to give us, to fill us, to help us. We have to imagine a good friend who prepares a fancy dinner all day long and invites us to participate. Every day, we answer in a different way: "I cannot because I have homework to do"; "I cannot because my mother is ill"; "I cannot because I have work to submit tomorrow"; "I cannot because I have a tennis class" ... The good news is that, unlike everyone else, God does not give up and does not tire of continuing to invite us.

4. Who runs our time. An interesting question to ask is whether we are free in planning today. Sure, we do not control time, we can try to plan, but in the end, we cannot avoid surprises or the collapse of our plans - it's a fact. It's also true that we spend so much time doing useless things.

This problem can be dealt with in reducing our exposure to the Internet, for example, allocate it a limited time and be careful about it. If we try for at least a week, we will find out how much time we lost in the past due to entering Facebook, Whatsap and Snapcats ... If all this time is subtracted from the account it will be easier to complete our daily tasks and even to make real time to sit and read or help others.

5. Take advantage of opportunities. Like any other personal relationship, the relationship with God is nourished by intimacy and closeness. It cannot always be taken for granted. God also wants us to be with God for certain periods in order to renew our covenant and be filled with God’s grace.

You can then take advantage of opportunities such as holidays, vacations, weekends, to get out of the routine and seek intimacy with God for a few hours, half a day or a whole day. How many of us, if they have a day, would consider dedicating it to God? This is an interesting question that should be taken seriously as well.

During this Advent season, let us open our hearts to the Lord and ask Him to release us from all dependence in order to cling to Him wholeheartedly.