…sloth, faintheartedness, lust of power and idle talk.
Guilty as charged. The St. Ephraim prayer that we say during Lent is a very powerful prayer for me. All these things I realize that I do at some point and pay no attention to correcting them at all but just go on with my day, thinking that I am somehow entitled to having a right to be slothful for example or have the right to know gossip or just to talk about stupid things that do not matter. Lent is a time for transformation and transfiguration for Orthodox Christians and let me tell you, it is like when you make the decision to fight the spiritual fight all the demons come out and attack you from all sides. It is easy for me to sit in the nursery room at church and listen to the latest church gossip while I nurse my son. It is easy for me to judge mothers that have kids on how they are raising them. Of course I have prideful thoughts about how my kid won’t end up like that. It is not so easy for me to change my way of thinking and I have to fight against thoughts of judgment like most people. It seems like I can add on to the beginning of this prayer with my own sins like “take away from me the spirit of… judgment, pride, anger etc.” All this taking away during this fast I start thinking… are we addicted?
As my brother in law comes over and spends some well deserved quality time with my son we start talking about what we are giving up for Lent and he states to me that he will be giving up his energy drinks in the morning which is really hard for him. I think about what type of things we pile on day to day and how during this time we try to live a simpler life. It is this simple life that seems to bring a lot of peace to my household. I notice that when I do find some peace within myself my household tends to run more smoothly. Am I addicted to this chaos that I do not even know how to get out? Parenting has made me see a different side of life. I have moments of joy which is true joy it seems like. I dread the day that I have to click on that Monster add and look for a job again. It is almost like what the scriptures say about the women and mothers all make sense now. How come my life was never this peaceful before? Was I so addicted to the working and the pleasures it brings with money this whole time that I was missing the point of life?
Now we are living more of a simple life but it is more meaningful it seems like. So I am letting myself get attached. I am letting myself get attached to my son and watch him as he falls asleep and try to treasure every moment that I have with him because I will miss him so much when I do have to work. I am letting myself nurse him to sleep and stay with him as he sleeps in my arms. Yes all this reading about how he is going to be used to a certain way of getting to sleep and blah blah blah from these “experts” is going out the window. I am working on giving up this chaos that has build up in my heart so much that I find it hard to concentrate without thinking about the future. As I struggle with things like not having that ice cream, cheeseburger or watching that TV program to pass time, my mind start shifting towards other things and I realize that I will have my first son only once. All this talk about how I will regret it may be true but oh well, how else are we ever going to learn if we do not take our own chances and make our own decisions? Take away from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust of power and idle talk. And may I find peace again in the middle of this chaos.