Posts Tagged With: clarity

Drunk in church & reflecting on my fast

Sunday – 9:00am – In the back seat of the old gray missionary van on the way to communion services in the ranchos – middle of nowhere, Coahuila, Mexico

Trying to write a journal entry in this van is like trying to build a house of cards during an earthquake. Very difficult to do. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but it is kinda difficult. 🙂 But as you can see from the title of today’s entry, I got some pretty interesting stuff to talk about and didn’t want it to slip my mind. It also felt really strange yesterday not writing in my journal after having written everyday for the past 40 days. I can kinda see now how writing is therapeutic and can help you make sense of things a little better.

Now just to clear things up, I was not drunk in church, at least not on alcohol. But there was a drunk guy that wandered into Mass. I’m assuming he was a by-product of the concert last night at the Presidencia. Thankfully he was a very quiet and respectful drunk. You could definitely tell he was drunk though. His breathing was loud and labored. His walk and stance were a little bit wobbly. He weaved in and out of the pews a couple of times and had a couple of different seats before he finally settled on the same one for the rest of Mass. He also stomped his foot on the kneeler a few times. Oh, and at the end of Mass he walked up to the front pew and did a little dance too. To the credit of everyone there, they didn’t seem bothered or overly curious, with the exception of some stares by a few kids. What I felt kinda bad about was my initial reaction. I was worried that he’d be a distraction and that he shouldn’t be in Church. Wasn’t it Jesus that said he came to save the lost? Isn’t that one stray sheep just as important as the other 99? So for the rest of Mass I tried to pray for him instead of keeping an eye on him. Figured he could use my prayers more than my judgment.

Now that I’m a couple days removed from my fast I can also do a little bit of looking back on the experience. At this point I’m thinkin’ mainly of two things: guarding my growth and following my heart. When I think about the fast and all the graces I got during the fast, I’m amazed. The graces of chastity, patience, and perseverance are just a few that come to mind. I’m also thinking how awesome it was to have that sacrifice (hunger) to offer up. Now I’m realizing that I have to guard those graces. I have to continue to look to develop them. I’ve got to continue to look for sacrifices to offer up so that I have ammo against my weaknesses and temptations. Maintain the momentum. Yeah, that’s a good way to sum it up.

I’m also thinkin’ about the whole clarity thing, in regards to my mission post. When I started my fast, I was under the assumption that “clarity” meant figuring out which country I wanted to go to. Never did I think  when I started my fast that it might actually mean figuring out whether or not I would even go back into the mission field. What does seem clearer is that I don’t think I’m at peace with going back out into the foreign mission field, at least not at this point in my life. Maybe later in life, once I’m married? Who knows…. My heart is ready to pursue friendship and see what develops. That’s alot easier to do if I’m stateside. Plain and simple, it’s what I want for my life. I believe it’s my calling and so not only do I want to pursue it, I HAVE to pursue it. I also don’t think it would be fair to mission partners and people that we’d be serving if I had a heart divided between missions and marriage. It seems wise to pursue the vocation of marriage with a single, undivided heart, and then whatever else is next will fall into place.

That being said, I pray for those of you who are also discerning your vocation in life, that you would be patient, persevere, and receive clarity and peace. Please pray for me too as I pursue friendship and ultimately marriage. Till next time, take care and God Bless!

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 15

Day 15 – Monday – 10/8/12

Well, I made it through my first two weeks of the fast. I’ve definitely learned and grown alot already; I’ve definitely gained some clarity in my discernment of next year’s mission post. But, there’s still alot of time left in my fast so I’m sure there’s alot more progress to be made. I think this week I will start eating my daily meal at breakfast. Or, I might split my daily meal between breakfast and lunch to see how that works. See how it affects the hunger factor. One of the main reasons for the second option is that with a once daily meal, it’s a little bit bigger than a normal-sized meal for me. I suppose that’s a way to compensate for less meals. Guess that’s ok, as long as i’m not eating a daily meal that’s big enough to be three meals! 🙂 More food = more time to prepare it and eat it. But, after morning prayer I usually have things I like to do before our morning ministry gets started and I don’t know if I’d have time to eat AND do all of that stuff. Ergo, the split-meal idea. I’ll at least try it today and see how it works out.

edit: Tried the split-meal thing and it seems to work ok. But, I think as long as I don’t dilly-dally I can eat a meal all at once. Might try that tomorrow. A meal all at once would also give me more of a hunger feeling later on in the day, that I can offer up. 🙂

Earlier today we did our second to last rancho visits to Santa Ines and Independencia. Let them know that in two weeks would be our last official visit as a mission team before the 2 groups of missionaries arrive in November. At the rancho where I conducted the communion service (Independencia), I had a good chat with the lady who is the unofficial caretaker of the chapel. I’m giving her that honorary title because she is the keeper of the tabernacle keys, and i think she’s one of the few regulars when they pray the rosary in the chapel. She was lamenting the fact that few people show up at the chapel, whether it’s a rosary or a communion service. She specifically mentioned her wish that people would have a hunger for God. HUNGER. This word caught my attention for obvious reasons. It’s the type of hunger that she’s obviously concerned with, and in my fasting i’m realizing that it’s the type of hunger I too should be concerned with. I kinda smiled on the inside when she said that, because knowing that she and a precious few others like her are in that rancho keeping the light of Christ burning, is very comforting. Regardless of the numbers, it’s nice to know as a missionary that the people you serve have a hunger and a thirst for God.

Last but not least, offer up a little prayer for our mission team here. One of the guys was sick last night and this morning, and the other one has been sick today. Praise the Lord I haven’t gotten sick, but I woke up late, and have been in kind of a funk all day. I feel like it might be some kind of spiritual attack. So like I said, prayers please! 🙂

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My 40-day fast – Day 1

Sid’s 40 Day Fast
Day 1 – Monday, 9/24/12

So this is my journal for my 40 day fast. I was inspired to do the fast because one of my missionary brothers recently did one, and said he really got alot from it. He also kept a journal, which is why i’m keeping one. Great way to recall my thoughts and share them. I was also inspired to do this fast when I was listening to someone talk about fasting and how it gives you clarity.

My main prayer intentions are: *for my sister, *for the grace of clarity as I begin to discern my mission post next year, *for growth in humility & grace, *for all the missionaries in Intake 2012.

I’m a little nervous, but not in a bad way. It’s more of a really excited full of anticipation sort of way. I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that in my spiritual life, I feel like I’m on the verge of something big, like I’m about to turn a corner. And I think this fast will play a big part in that. Not sure how intense the hunger factor will be, since I’ll only be eating one meal a day. But I hope it’s a big enough factor to challenge me. I also hope that I know a little more what it’s like for these poor people that we serve, to struggle with hunger and a lack of resources at times. I’m gonna eat my one daily meal at supper time. I figure I’ll have more time each day to feel the hunger. Also figure that if I eat at night, I won’t be doing any kind of physical activity to burn off those few precious calories. I’ll allow myself whatever liquids during the day. Coffee in the morning. Gatorade during the day, so that the electrolytes/vitamins/nutrients can supplement some of what I won’t be getting from food. I was already taking a multi-vitamin everyday so I’ll have that too.

I’m kinda surprised though at how I didn’t really feel much hunger today. Maybe it was because I prepared myself with a 2 meal-a-day fast for two and a half weeks prior to this fast. Maybe, since today was my first day my body hasn’t had a chance to feel the hunger yet. We also had some food at the end of a prayer group this afternoon too. I’m thinkin’ too it could be the liter of Gatorade I drank over the course of the day. No it wasn’t good solid food, but it was something to fill my belly. We also ate at Rita &  Gallo’s house tonight. Nopales (cactus), frijoles (beans), arroz (rice), and tortillas. I wasn’t feeling the hunger factor before we ate, but judging by how much I ate, I was definitely hungry. I kinda stuffed myself. Maybe I was also trying to eat a little more than I normally would, knowing that I wouldn’t be eating again for a whole ‘nother day. Not sure if that defeats the purpose of a fast or not. Well, I’ll give my current way of doing things another week or so. If I still don’t feel the hunger, I may cut down to half a liter of Gatorade. We’ll see how it goes.

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