A few months ago, I booked a dentist appointment for myself. I hadn’t done so in two years, but I once again had healthcare coverage (through the university). I brush my teeth regularly, so I wasn’t too worried about this checkup. I’d just pop in and out of the office, get a quick cleaning, and be good for another year.
Then the dentist looked at my x-rays and said, “Good, good… oh, not so good… two cavities here.”
WHAT? Cavities? I’ve never had cavities before!!!
The next thing I knew, I was standing at the receptionist’s desk, booking a second appointment to finish my cleaning and an appointment to get my cavities filled. So much for my smug my-teeth-are-good attitude.
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A Faith Check-up
As I brushed my teeth that night, I thought back on the last year and realized that yep, my dental habits had slipped up a bit. That “routine checkup” turned out to be a good wake-up call for me. I’ve started some new habits now. After all, a bit of floss and toothpaste are cheaper than dentist visits.
Taking better care of my oral hygiene got me thinking about some other areas where I’ve slipped up a bit. The start of Lent was like my dentist appointment: a wake-up call that something wasn’t the way it should be in my spiritual life.
Unfortunately, it’s been easier to start flossing than it has been to start a regular devotional time. If I try to spend time in prayer and Bible reading during the day, I find myself distracted by two little girls. If I leave it until they are in bed, I find myself too tired—or distracted by my husband, who also wants some attention.
Starting New Faith Habits
Yet even the desire to do something has made a difference. I find myself praying more during the day, sharing my struggles and wishes with God as they come to mind. I think about what I read last, in either my Bible or in The Sacred Romance, a book I chose as a focus for my devotional readings right now. It’s baby steps, but it’s baby steps in the right direction.
Do you need a spiritual wake-up call? Here’s some tips:
- Join or start a rosary group with friends or ladies from your parish
- Go on an annual spiritual retreat
- Pick up some devotional or spiritual reading
- See your priest or pastor for spiritual direction
- Listen to some faith-filled music
Need some recommendations for spiritual reading? Try these:
- Beholding & Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship by Ruth Chou Simons (reflections on faith in our everyday lives with beautiful artwork)
- Made for the Journey: One Missionary’s First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador by Elisabeth Elliot (biography of a difficult year in the life of a young missionary, and what she learned from that year)
- Live Loved: Craft God’s Word Into Your Heart Through Creative Expression by Margaret Feinberg (if you enjoy colouring, try this colouring book with beautiful Bible verses to reflect on!)
- The Ancient Path: Old Lessons from the Church Fathers for a New Life Today by John Michael Talbot (biographical reflections on the works of the Early Church Fathers and their influence in a musician’s conversion)
- Mom Seeks God: Practicing Grace in the Chaos by Julia Roller (a book about practical, easy spiritual disciplines you can incorporate in your daily life as a busy mom)
Have you faced a wake-up call, in your spiritual or daily life? How did you deal with it?