Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Living or existing

As summer gears up, so many families and especially teens out there are looking for something to do.  They're looking for camps to sign up for, vacations, day trips and other fun things with friends and family.  It's so easy to find yourself not making any plans and just "hanging out" while trying to finish that list of things you have been trying to accomplish.  There are always dishes and clothes to wash.  There's always food to be bought and tv shows to watch.  These things are absolutely necessary and need to be things we do in our every day life.  Chores, tv, and every day tasks are a part of the realm I like to call existing.  These things are a part of our existence - things we need to do as a part of a family, of society, and as a creation on the earth.  Its almost like having a '63 Corvette in your garage, and at least twice a year, you have to change the oil whether you drive it every day, or once a year - you have to change the oil just to maintain it.  In the same way, doing our every day tasks are part of maintaining and existing - but is it really living?  Going back to the Corvette, you could take it to the grocery store or you could take it downtown for a night out, or even further, you could take it for a drag race.  Lets take a deeper look at a few areas of our life where we could develop our LIFE skills rather than our EXISTING skills...

Our spiritual lives - It's so easy to go to mass every week, say your mealtime prayers, an occasional bedtime prayer, and an act of service and feel as if you're living your faith life.  In one sense, you're absolutely living your faith life!  In another sense, are you growing your faith life or are you maintaining it?  This is where I find my faith life, and where I struggle the most with it.  I pray frequently.  I go to mass every week.  I teach our students about Christ and his Church.  I put on my scapular every day, and ask the Lord to walk with me... So why do I feel so spiritually dry?  Am I growing my faith or am I just maintaining what I have?  If you feel the same way, here's how I would like to challenge the both of us...  Wherever you're at in your faith - whether you go to church weekly, or yearly, we're only shooting for growth in where we're currently at.  Find 1 way to GROW your faith.  Here are a few ideas...
1.  Sign up for the next retreat at your church.
2.  Make your own retreat - go get out of town and find a bible study to do while you're away.
3.  Get 3 friends to commit to a weekly scripture study or faith discussion/prayer group over the summer.
4.  Go to daily mass or commit to praying the rosary or divine chaplet every day.
5.  Commit to morning prayer from liturgy of the hours
6.  Journal about your faith walk

Find something extra to do for your spiritual life.

Our social lives - It's fairly easy to think of our friends, tougher to make a frequent phone call, and even more difficult to go visit a friend.  Find ways to reconnect socially.  Here are some examples...
1.  Host a dinner party for 3 or 4 friends
2.  Start a guys night or girls night
3.  Take a day trip across town and see a friend you haven't seen in a while.
4.  Send out some "thinking of you" cards
5.  Bake someone a cake, brownies, or something that just says you are thinking of them
6.  Send an old friend a care package.  Everyone loves a care package - especially kids at camp, friends studying abroad, or people who are out of state and miss things from your state. 

Find something extra to do for your social life.

Our physical lives - for some of us, we're already taking care of this...for many, (including me) this is the last thing I want to do in my day - EXERCISE!  Its an odd correlation between knowing we always feel better when we work out regularly, and then making yourself actually work out.  In looking at myself, I'm 5'10, and 160 lbs.  I'm certainly not overweight, but I exercise just about 0% of my week.  I know exercise would make me feel better but making myself actually do it is another thing.  I tell ya what - If 10 of you post a comment that you'll make a commitment with me (in your own lives) then I'll commit too.

Not sure if you noticed what just happened, but I just practiced tip #1....
1.  Find an accountability partner!  If they're gunna work out, and they'll do their best to hold you accountable too, it's a lot easier to feel the need to exercise.  Its even easier if you have them to join you in your work out...
2.  Join a league!  you can join a semester softball, flag football, frisbee, volleyball or any other league that will get you out of the house, and running around.   
3.  Take a daily walk.  If you can't get yourself to run, and you're not willing to commit to a league, take a daily walk even if it's just around the block. 

Lastly, I want to wrap up with a few tips to general life goals. 
1.  Calendar - Use your calendar!  Before things book up with the every day tasks, set aside some time.  Pick out some time where you will sit at home with your family and do nothing.  Calendar some dates with your spouse or your best friends.  Schedule what days you need to work out.  Most importantly, pick at least 1 weekend a month to "get out of town". 
2.  Getting out of town - It's so important that we find ways to pull out of the every day rut and put ourselves into a new environment.  Go rent a cabin on a ranch, or at the lake.  Go camping, go fishing, go golfing, go visit a family member.  Leave your home and find something new and exciting to go and do. 
3. Take the sabbath!  In the Jewish and Christian culture, we are called to rest on the sabbath.  There is a reason for the 3000 year old tradition.  We need to rest!  We need to have some time when we do not work and we can allow life to slow down for a day.  Take a break!  There are other days you can work...  Take time on the sabbath to rest your mind, body and soul. 

Good luck!  It's not easy pulling yourself out of our every day BLAHness...  Hopefully with some help, you'll find some new inspiration to go out there and try some new and different things!  Get out there and drive!  Take her for a spin

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I'll try to do the workout with you. Do you have anything in mind? I like riding my bike, and I'll be doing bike to work day in a couple weeks June 27. Hope you are all doing well, God Bless
    Timothy Closson