So I'm finally getting in the habit of taking 10 minutes or so in the morning... just for me. I make my coffee, sit down with an inspirational book/bible study, and focus on myself and my spiritual/emotional growth.
This is a big step for me, because my days are usually filled with work to meet someone else's deadline, errands to get something or other done, going places, making sure to do such and such for so and so. Taking 10 minutes in the morning starts me off on the right, non-flustered foot.
Today's inspirational question was: What practical choices will you make today that will bring you deeper intimacy with God? This is the first out of 11 questions in this book (that I've read so far, there are more...) that I've been stumped on. I mean, I usually don't associate "practical decisions" and "spiritual growth". I don't consider faith a "practical" choice per se... it's a "rational" choice, in that it makes sense to me with regards to my everyday emotional health and eternal destination, but "practical"?
It isn't "practical" to have to take an extra ten minutes for prayer and contemplation when I could be sleeping. It isn't "practical" for someone living on a fixed income to donate to her parish/local charities. It isn't "practical" for someone who has no free time to cram even more activity into her day to help others, to contribute her talents, to be a good and kind and semi-altruistic* person. *I say semi-altruistic because true altruism is a myth... even if you don't "get" something out of your behavior, you get a good feeling and that counts as something...*
It is, however, rational to do all of those things, if you live a faith-based existence. I have faith that living a life modeled after Christ will ultimately do me good. That I will end up at "home" as many Christians say. At the very least, taking Pasquale's wager will give you a shot at heaven, and if there isn't anything past this life, then you lived as a good and kind person who will be remembered fondly and leave a positive legacy and mark upon this world after you are gone.
I firmly believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only son, our Lord... and I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting (e.g. heaven). (If you want more information on what a Catholic believes go read the Catechism, the teachings of the Catholic Church, online. You can't say we're not technologically with the times!)
In any event, trying to reconcile my faith as a "practical" decision is a challenge. I suppose, if it is concerning my everlasting end, that any choice I make towards that end is a practical choice, irregardless of its practicality in the here and now. So today I make the practical decision to incorporate prayer and contemplation into my daily routine. I make the practical decision to SLOW down and enjoy the rehearsal that is life, so that I don't miss the moments when God makes His presence known.
Here's to Pascal...