I chose you from the world,
To go forth and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord. Jn 15:16
I have struggled with this for years. I think the reason is, like many of us out there, I am way too hard on myself. I always am able to put an extra burden and layer of stress onto myself, that I would not place upon anyone else. That is my nature, and I have always done that. There is no reason for it, but I do it.
I know I am not alone in this, and that I am not the only one that is so critical of myself. So, then, why is this particular passage hard for me? Well, read it, I am to go and bear fruit that will last. Everything that I do, good, bad, right, wrong or indifferent has a lasting impact on something. If you really get to thinking about that, that is a task that is totally insurmountable and it is scary to even ponder. It would really make you want to stay in bed all day long. If you do nothing, there is nothing to be disappointed about.
After much contemplation, I have had a different view given to me. It is not the fact that I am being told to do something. It is not about whether I go out and try and mess something up. Not at all. Quite the contrary actually. As I was praying last night, this is what hit me. It is about how I am praying. It is about the things that I am praying for. I am being called to do things, but am I asking for guidance in all that I am doing? That is what I am being truly called to do. That was the key to this passage for me, starting to change how I am praying, not the fact that I am out there in the world. The works and deeds of this world will shine brighter so long as I can keep asking God what is next.
I do not have a ridged prayer life like I should. I know that I could be so much better at it. I know of people who have a routine, and pray all the time, but for me, it is not something that comes natural or comes with ease. I am able to do it at night, before bed, but in the middle of the day, or in the middle of things, that I struggle with. I find that part of my life waning. I know I can do better, so I will keep trying at that. I will learn to change what I am asking for, and we will see how much further I can go.