Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Everyday Christianity and the Spiritual Combat
It occurred to me at my day job yesterday that it might in fact be sometimes easier to go and pray in secret than it is to live out the Christian calling in one's everyday life in the world. When I close the door to my study and kneel down to pray, it is just God and I and no one else. But the everyday world brings a whole host of other challenges in my mind.
As I write, I am sitting in a McDonald's with three senior men behind me dropping F-bombs every second sentence as if the word were going out of style. In the break room at work, conversation is virtually impossible unless one stoops to crude humour. People around me are bitter, resentful, tired, too busy to think, and shutting down their souls faster than I can write, simply because the world allows no time for peace anymore.
How can one be a Christian in the everyday world when there is so much distraction, so little time, so much spiritual indifference, and more than anything, so many pitfalls and tempations to fall into living in a manner not befitting a Christian?
I think the answer lies in a few things. First, a constant awareness of the presence of God is absolutely essential - if we are aware of God's presence at all times, then how could we help but live in a Christian manner? I think it a good habit to cultivate to ask oneself if what one is doing or saying would be something one would do or say in the presence of Jesus, or even the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The second thing is to use every situation and occurrence as an opportunity to live for Christ, in a manner befitting a Christian. Disengage from conversations of a nature that can only lead to sin and temptation, refuse to judge others, refuse to be a conduit for gossip, take time for a silent prayer or two, or even better, pray constantly within the heart if you can. Be a living witness to Christ in the everyday, in any way you can. Most importantly, let your actions speak for themselves.
Be assured, when I write "you", I really mean me. I struggle with these kinds of things every single day, especially at work or when just out and about in the public sphere. It's hard, because one is continually being blared at by all kinds of messages and worldviews that are completely antithetical to the Gospel. The world is antagonistic towards the faith, be it passively or actively. This is precisely why the need to be aware of God's presence is so very crucial, at least in my humble opinion. It is the only way to stand strong in the secular world of today.
Just some thoughts.