I find myself in confession from time to time and my Priest has made the same comment to me several times. He says that the sins I confess are not very grave and they tend to be effects of good actions. Confusing? A bit. Let me explain:
You see, my confession tends to look something like this:
Me: Forgive me Father for I have sinned.
Priest: What would you like to confess?
Me: Well, I find it hard to balance my time. I love studying my faith and writing about it, but because I love it so much, I find myself not giving enough time to my wife and kids.
Priest: Go on.
Me: The same thinghappens with my work. I find myself dedicating more time than I should to plan my lessons, help my students and get on the same page with their parents. This doesn’t give me time with my wife or kids and it also doesn’t give me time to study my faith.
Priest: Go on.
Me: I also haven’t been taking good care of myself physically. I wake up early and stay up late. My wife cooks great meals, but I only eat as much as I need to remain strong and awake. I don’t exercise and I watch too much TV and spend too much time on facebook.
That is when my priest stops me and tells me that my sins tend to come from doing good. He tells me I’m concerned about others and that’s a good thing, but whether or not they are sins, he never knows. Since they weigh heavily on my heart, they must be, but in light of all that I do, prioritizing everything so that God remains the head of it all frustrates the hell out of me… literally.
I don’t know at what point my service infringes on my other services. Do my roles as Father, Husband, Learner and Teacher need to be separated depending on who I am with at a given moment? I can’t count on anything but a mysterious God, which makes my plans and motives void.
Economically, physically, emotionally and spiritually, my soul is tested every day and my unwillingness to let God call the shots is trumped by Someone that is outside of my power. My relationships and apostolates are bound to this same life-Giver who mandates every minute and waits for my reactions to the curveballs the world throws my way. Like an Observer watching a mouse running through a maze, He opens doors and closes others to protect me from my own motives, He drops nourishment to give me strength when I am unable to get it on my own, He leaves clues and provides me with accompaniment to make sure that I find my way out so that in the end I can finally see Him and celebrate with Him for eternity.
Now, I am obsessed with this final goal. My mind has no time to think about anything that would hold me back from achieving it. My entire being as Father, Husband, Learner and Teacher is set upon Him and as a result, I am existentially anxious for the One who has frustrated the hell out of me.
And so, being frustrated by the world is part of the Christian experience. But not having hell inside of you is it’s greatest benefit.