A vowed Benedictine friend told me that one of the benefits of living in a monastery was that she learned the discipline to stop whatever she was doing, and go to prayer.
I am eager to follow Christ. Yet I instinctively delay responding in obedience to the word, or my fellow Christians, or my known responsibilities. Or even to pray.
Sometimes I delay in such mundane issues of daily life that simply must be done. What do I expect to gain by putting off changing the laundry for another 20 minutes? Delaying my response does not benefit me. It does not change anything, other than causing me to wait an extra 20 minutes for the clothes to dry.
And yet I delay my ‘obedience’ to the requests of my family, or my known responsibilities, or to followers of Christ? I find I must consciously stop and think about obedience. Otherwise my knee-jerk response is to ‘put off’ doing that which I already know is right.
An oblate friend of mine defines ‘obedience in marriage’ as ‘listening to each other.’ Yet how often do I try to pretend I have not heard my spouse? Or how often do I intently listen to the needs of my spouse?
I often think of my vowed Benedictine friend when I catch myself wanting to delay my own obedience to some request. I don't have the structural support of the monastery bells. But perhaps this is my opportunity to learn that same discipline… to stop and respond now to God's call in my own life.
Dear Lord, teach me to obey God’s call in my life NOW, rather than later.