This may not be true for everyone. But for me, the most stressful thing about life is my job. I am very grateful for the work I do. There are so many things I love about it. But the type of career I have, by its very nature, is stressful. There’s simply no way around it. I used to respond to the anxiety my job created by working as many hours as I could, late into the night. Things got to the point where my work was not only unhealthy on a physical and psychological level, but I realized it was causing me to neglect my spiritual life as well.
I knew I needed to be giving much more time to God than the bare minimum each day. But I put my relationship with Him on the back burner. I told myself once I got my life in order and was able to manage and stay on top of things at work, I could finally start giving more time to God. Well, unsurprisingly, that day never came. I still don’t have my life in order. I’m still very far from where I want to be when it comes to managing my workload and the stress that comes with it. At some point, it finally hit me: through my own power, regardless of how hard I work, I will never be able to make the stress and anxiety go away completely. So, I finally decided to make God my number one priority and asked Him for help in managing everything else.
But what does it mean to make God the most important thing in your life? Well, for starters, we have to get to know Him. And the only way you can get to know God is by spending time with Him. It’s not just about spending a few minutes each day, saying the same prayers you always prayed without really paying attention to the meaning behind them. Instead, we need to spend a substantial amount of time with Him, having an actual conversation, telling Him everything that is on our hearts.
If you can get to daily mass and adoration, all the better! The grace you open yourself up to simply by spending that time with Him will, without fail, transform you completely. The problems and stresses of your everyday life may not go away, but you will start to see them for what they truly are and from the proper perspective. Once we realize that God is in control of everything and that our sole purpose in life is simply to know and love Him, what else really matters? However great our cares and worries are, He is so much greater. And whatever troubles we are facing, they suddenly seem so insignificant once seen from the perspective of eternal life.
Nevertheless, even after making God the top priority in my life and committing to spending a substantial part of my day with Him in prayer, I still struggle to invite Him into the messiness and chaos of my life. For some reason, I don’t want God to see me at my worst, even though that is obviously when I need Him most. When we feel like we’re failing, when we’re overwhelmed and sleep-deprived, Christ wants us to lean on Him more than ever. He says to us,
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30).
God doesn’t want to only share in our victories. He wants to share in our struggles, weaknesses and failures as well. He wants to be a part of all of it, so don’t be afraid to give Him all of it. Because as soon as we do, we’ll find that His yoke is easy and His burden light.
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