I was recently driving to the local post office and found myself behind a large truck that was transporting two portapotties on a large trailer. They were probably on their way to a weekend graduation event or an outdoor venue of some type but as soon as I saw them, I knew I had to reflect on this image just a little bit more.
You see, when I saw those portapotties, I was reminded that even the most wonderful life events must allow for a little bit of a mess. Just think about the arrival of a newborn infant and the number of diapers used in those early days or the process of housebreaking a furry canine family member. In a roundabout way, I am talking about hospitality here, friends. Planning for a houseguest or planning a party for a large group entails carefully anticipating what the other person(s) will need to be comfortable. Every little detail matters, not just the ones that we find easy or pleasing or exciting.
Am I going out on a limb if I say that the same can be true of practicing my faith? It’s easy for me to fall into that “same old, same old” routine of praying or even to put aside my morning Scripture reading now that summer is here and the living is easy. Maybe I find myself in a prayer “rut” or becoming increasingly negative, even “judgy” at times. Those subtle changes inside prompt me to delve a little deeper, and, above all, face the mess. Just like securing enough portapotties for an outdoor event, it’s up to me to keep being present to God and others in prayer and relationships.
In a general audience on May 15, 2013, Pope Francis shared the following words: “This is a prayer we must pray every day: ‘Holy Spirit, make my heart open to the word of God, make my heart open to goodness, make my heart open to the beauty of God every day.’”
I’m waiting for a daily devotional that I ordered from our local bookstore to come in today and once it does, I’m back into the routine. You see, part of my “mess” is that what I was reading daily to accompany the daily readings just wasn’t touching my heart or reaching me anymore. I needed something more and turned to prayer, and re-committed to “showing up” for God and the people in my lives this summer, to truly be PRESENT. I’ll let you know how it goes.