“We would be a lot happier if we would take this line to heart: Life is hard. It’s just that simple. Somewhere along the line, most of us bought into the lie that tells us life is supposed to be easy. It is not easy. The real world is not like one of a million sitcoms, where the day’s problems are happily resolved in about twenty-four minutes. Life simply isn’t like that. It is difficult, really hard. I suppose at times we need to be reminded that Jesus invited us to pick up our crosses, not our beach chairs.”
Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR
Spiritual Freedom: God’s Life Changing Gift, Servant Books
I stole the above quote from my friend Patty's blog (Abba's Little Girl) because it is something I need to emblazon across the inside of my eyelids.
Discouragement is something every human encounters but for the devout Christian it can be a real struggle. We know we are to be joyful because we have been adopted into The Body of Christ. We also know, however, that suffering is a part of life and sometimes - dang, it - suffering gets really old.
So what do we do?
Well, we trudge trudge trudge and we thank God for those times when a punch or a kick from someone we love, a smack or a pop from someone we dislike and all the rest of the stuff in between turns us more deeply towards Him.
For me, it is the opportunity to take '12 Step Calls' for the hotline. My work hours allow me to be the 'go to girl' for those who need to talk to someone in the middle of the night. The upside is you don't really get too many calls. The downside is, the calls you do get are almost always from someone who is drunk out of their goard.
And we are so lovely when we are drunk. We are full of sorrow and self pity and we have incredible tales to tell. We can point out the character defects of everyone around us and come up with the best reasons in the world for abusing those with whom we share familial bonds. No one, and I mean NO ONE, who is an alcoholic EVER says (when they are drunk), "I am so ashamed of the way I am living my life. I just wish I could break the hold alcohol has on me. I have caused such sorrow to my wife/husband/child/lover/friend/family pet. Please, can you tell me how I can get better?".
OK - now there is probably someone who has done just that when they are drunk so let me be perfectly clear: I have never received a call like that at 2:30am from a drunk alcoholic. If you have, I am both happy and jealous. And thanks loads because jealousy is a sin.
I used to love the telephone when I was drinking. I am grateful the internet was not on my radar. I am also very grateful 'Girls Gone Wild' did not yet exist.
Come to think of it, despite feeling low and over burdenned (my best clerk just told me tonight she starts a new job somewhere else in 2 weeks and that working for me the past 2 years has been a joy for her....which is scant consolation for losing my BEST CLERK), I am very grateful for a lot of stuff today.
I am grateful to be sober, to be Catholic, to not ever have to respond in kind to nasty name-calling tantrums, to be able to recognize Jesus in the most despicable character and to have even an inkling of the Dignity afforded every Human Being by virtue of their BEING a creature of God.
I am grateful for my job and for the respect I have from most of my peers and from my superiors.
I am grateful that I do not have to put someone else down and stomp around like a giant cyber baby in order to feel like a grown up.
And I am grateful that Weight Watchers makes English Toffee Crunch Ice Cream bars - only 2 points!