Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Feelings Before A Trip To New Orleans

I'm getting ready to go down to New Orlean's to assist in the Catholic Charities hurricane Katrina relief effort and I'm getting the feeling that the devil is really annoyed at this.

Sunday night I had some very graphic dreams (no - I don't normally have such dreams). I remember waking up early Monday morning, just before I went to morning Mass thinking, how unworthy I feel to go to Mass. My former self would love having dreams like that. In fact, I would have hated waking up from it, but now, I feel like I have somehow sinned. Even while at Mass, the images from the dream kept popping into my head. "Concentrate on the Mass, pray hard", I told myself.

After a long day, I returned home (9pm) to talk to my wife about my concerns over a relationship with a good friend of mine that seems to be slipping away. I've really been bothered by this condition for some time and just needed to vent to my wife for a while about it. That was really helpful, but I'm still anxious to talk to my friend about it. I've decided to wait until after my New Orleans trip to do so, even though I really want to confront him about some things right now.

Anyway, Tuesday morning I got up with my son and decided to go to work a little later than usual so that my wife could sleep in. On my way to work, I decided that I should swing by the Church to say a few prayers before I started my work day, even though I was already late and would be coming back to the church later that afternoon to drop something off at the parish office. I just thought that I really should go to pray before the tabernacle, especially because I didn't feel like it. I finalized this decision at the light where I could turn to go to work or church.

A few minutes later, I was on 355 near the Toys-R-Us. There was a car in the far right lane that took off at a light and swung in front of me in the far left lane. Just before the IHOP, a police officer ran into the street to stop traffic to pull over the speeding car in front of me, or so I thought. To my surprise, he motioned for the car in front of me to go ahead and instead, motioned for me to pull over and he proceeded to write me a ticket. Oh man, just what I needed.

I couldn't believe it. How could this happen? I remember thinking as I was sitting there in my car while the officer was writing the ticket, "man, this is unfair...this is what I get for deciding to say a few prayers in the church?".

So, here I am now, 2 days before my New Orleans trip and I'm just feeling lousy. I keep telling myself, that the devil is really trying to discourage me. I'm struggling right now just to get through the day. I've got this 'woe is me' syndrome working in my head and I know that I shouldn't feel this way. I've got to pray hard and ask the Lord for encouragement.

Does stuff like this ever happen to any of you?


At Tue Jun 20, 01:22:00 PM 2006, Blogger Joe Schuler said...

All the time. For me, the answer always is: Slow down, you are moving too fast. Take life one thing at a time. Focus. It is easy for me to go in 90 directions. In fact, those very distractions cause me to speed ... I am unaware of the here and now. It is extremely difficult to choose the top 3 things that need my attention now. Just a few thoughts. ~ Joe

At Sat Jun 24, 10:32:00 AM 2006, Anonymous al smith said...

Unwanted dreams, or memories, the distractions of daily life: yes, I've experienced them. It brings to mind the parable of "The Sower and the Seed" (which as Fr. Griffin pointed out, is about the soil). Perhaps the call is not a one-time thing, but happens continuously. At different times, we are represented by different soil conditions: feelings rise and fall, and we experience anxiety over the events in our lives. My guess is you're fulfilling your intention to serve, and doing so in spite of the circumstances. That is a fruit of the spirit.


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