One of the things I shared with the priest when I had my confession last Sunday was how I, at that time, felt distant from God. I know for a fact this isn’t true and that God is always there, but I also know that sin separates us from God. And I honestly feel this every time I have my bouts of meanness, or when I do something to hurt other people.
I used to think this was just something religious people said, but now that I’ve found myself in a deeper relationship with Christ, I learned that it isn’t just a concept people throw around. It’s real. Much as how one would eventually have a thirst for God once one knows more about Him. I thought this was an over-reaction until I found myself in a situation where I honestly felt spiritually dry. Every cell in my body longed for His nurturing. I needed to attend praise & worship! I longed for the teachings! I couldn’t explain why but I just needed to be surrounded by His love!
Going back, I noticed that whenever I do something I know is wrong, I also end up spending less time in prayer. I’m not sure if it’s me unconsciously acknowledging my unworthiness but it honestly happens! No matter how hard I try, I always end up getting distracted or else just doing the prayer version of small talk. I think my obsessive-compulsiveness also comes into play because I don’t feel like I’ve had adequate prayer time unless I start off with reading the word for the day and then reflecting on it. Is that weird? I’m pretty sure it is, given that God does not look into the length or complication of a prayer more than He does the actual act of conversing with Him.
The priest I talked to had a very amusing take on the matter [of my feeling distant]. We had quite a long conversation while I was trying my best to kneel down on one knee (since my left is still inoperable ATM). He first told me that there is no one position when praying; we can do it while seated, standing up, lying down, in transit, etc. Therefore, there is no reason to feel distant and lose time in prayer since God is pretty much accessible 24/7.
The next thing he asked was what I did for a living. I told him I was a flight attendant. Local or international? Both. Do you fly to Europe or America? Both. And he goes on about how there is a lot of down time on long haul flights. “You’re not always asleep when you’re done serving passengers, right?” (He seems to know a lot about our job.) “So after your passengers have finished asking for their share of drinks and you’ve fed them whatever good food you have onboard, and you find yourself seated in the dark cabin — pray. Talk to God. You can not claim that you are distant from God, up there, 40,000 feet above sea level! You wake up from your rest and you are literally in heaven!” We both chuckled lightly.
That was quite the unorthodox confession, but I liked it because it wasn’t simply dismissing someone by absolving their sins; the priest actually took the time to listen and give a fresh perspective on the things that bothered me. It was relatable and I felt God was, indeed, speaking to me through him. But also, I liked the bit about the distance. Like you had a sense that your prayer signal was stronger since you were closer to the recipient.
I’m slowly getting back on track on the prayer time thing, as I usually do after every confession. But I think now, my new takeaway is that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, or rigid when it comes to my prayer time. I should talk to Him whenever I can and not just when I am at home, lying on my bed. I especially need to be fervent in my prayer time now that LSE is coming up. Sigh. The warfare is real.
So, how about you? What’s your prayer routine? Have you ever gone through the same thing?