Faith

Obstacles

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I know this one dude, and sometimes we talk about stuff.
Even though he hates hugs or handshakes, he’s the type
Who sits super close when talking,
Presences brushing as he shares/ questions/ converses.

Sometimes we talk about spiritual stuff, this dude and I,
Because he knows it’s important to me, and he has an inquisitive heart.
He once wondered aloud about outside show– attending church/ praying/ etc
If you weren’t actually feeling connected to faith at the moment.

On Wednesday I went to mass and the story was about the seeds and the sower
And then the priest gave a homily, but I tend to be wound tightly
Going into weekday mass, so really only one word of many stood out:
Obstacles.

There are obstacles to everything we attempt, the priest said,
Calling out the example of the seeds in the rocks or weeds.
And, honestly, I was sitting there feeling grey and dead
Because the winter months aren’t exactly kind to my psyche.

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On Tuesday I had emailed my two amigas news that I was deadset with
Wintertime blues and, that night, one of them offered to take me to dinner.
We went to a seafood restaurant, because she knows my restrictions (and social embarrassment)
And it was one of the fanciest places I’ve ever been.

She ordered mussels, which I’d never eaten before, and the waiter brought us
Tiny forks, ha! And my salmon was every level of exquisite–flavorful and mild
And flaky and moist; and I haven’t stopped dreaming about the
White Balsamic Vinaigrette ever since. (That amiga. She’s legit).

When that one dewd asked about doing things you don’t feel like doing,
I asked him about exercising: if you just wait until you feel like working out
You’ll never even tie your running shoes. But, even a bad workout, after all, is better than
No workout at all.

And so, we approach life (and, by extension, the spiritual life).
I think that walking through the motions, even without the “feelings,”
Is itself an action of faith–a committed decision in the midst of trial.
Which of the saints would deny us this?

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And so, we wake up again. Exercise again. Pray again.
And the days are dark (and therefore short), But still full (and therefore long)
And, maybe you even know that you’re not giving yourself to the fullest.
Here’s a call: to rest in grace. And don’t be afraid to keep trying.

That same priest of Wednesday’s mass told me about a year he spent in a warmer climate.
There, he said, the winter never came, the cold never touched.
“So,” he said somberly, “it was impossible to appreciate the spring.”
Ups. Downs. This, too, shall pass. And the winter will make us appreciate the spring.

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