No really, I do. Well, I did.
Last week over at Austin Catholic New Media I wrote a post about five things Catholic families can do to get their school year started off right. I guess if it’s my number one suggestion, I should be doing it, right? It was Friday and I had already missed our local parish’s confession times. I was running out of options (read: procrastination).
Then, my lovely friend, Renee, stopped by to drop off something and just as they were leaving she says, “Well, I guess we’re going as is to 5pm confession.” I quickly found out where, said goodbye and trucked everyone in the house. The clock read 4:24. That gave me just enough time to get dinner started before we had to leave. “Yeah,” I thought to myself, “we can totally make it.”
Surprisingly, we walked in the parish doors at 5:11. Not bad. The line wasn’t too long and my kids were thrilled to run into our friends. I’m calling it “running into them” instead of “stalking.” It sounds better.
As we were preparing for our turn in the confessional, something caught my eye. Renee was kneeling with her children at the front of the church, praying and lighting a candle. It was beautiful and it gave me pause to think. How can I make confession not just something on our “to do” list, but an experience? Just as I was making grand plans in my head, Luke taps my knee and says, “biaper.”
There go the grand plans.
When he makes a diaper you don’t just wait it out. I’ve tried and it’s not pretty. The confessional light turned green, signaling that I was up next. No way could I make it to the car and back that fast. Into the confessional Luke and I went. I’m fairly certain that was the fastest confession on record. Of course, it didn’t hurt that his Godfather was the confessor 😉 I told Fr. D to be nice to my boys and we beelined it out to the car. I left the boys with strict instructions to say their prayers and meet me at the back of church when they were done.
So much for the prayer time.
Honestly? I was really peeved. And, y’all, I JUST WENT TO CONFESSION!
On our return, a wedding party was gathering in the narthex. And they were ridiculously loud. Didn’t they know that people were going to confession on the other side of those doors? Couldn’t they zip it long enough for the last few to finish and then the party could start?
That’s about the time the pot starting calling the kettle black.
Wasn’t that me? Wasn’t I so busy with the next thing, that I forgot to live in the moment? I was frustrated because my time with God was interrupted. Couldn’t I zip it long enough to see God’s grace? I had forgotten the most important thing: God never leaves us, we leave Him. He knew that our confession experience wouldn’t be picture perfect, but He also knew that was how to get my attention. We live life in the chaos lane most of the time. Yes, we have our lighting the candle moments, but I have many more diaper moments. It’s how life is.
Every time I go to confession, I’m reminded of the most important advice I ever received: pray like a mom, not a nun. If I’m to truly embrace my vocation, I have to keep my eyes open for the God moments. For some they linger a bit, but mine tend to scream by going 60mph. I like life in the fast lane. It’s always an adventure.