Leaving the holding pattern

by Ali Hoffman

North Texas Catholic

10/9/2019

airplane over cloudsairplane over clouds
Photo by Leio McLaren/Unsplash.com


Being a full-time youth minister during the summer can be exhausting. There are conferences and mission trips to coordinate, coffee dates to schedule, the upcoming year to plan, etc. I’ve noticed in past summers that my prayer life can go out the window. Zip. Gone.

I’ll rationalize it with “But God, don’t you see all the amazing things I’m doing for You? Shouldn’t that count as my prayer?” And God, being such a good and gentle Father almost always responds, “That’s great, but I’m really after your heart. I just want you.”

I am a perfectionist and someone who likes to take control because I know for me, at least when I do something, I know it’ll get done how I think it should be. The same goes for my relationship with Jesus. I like to put Him in a neat, little box in a corner and only access Him like my own personal genie granting wishes when I really need Him. The truth is, God desires to be Lord over your entire life — not just for an hour or so on Sundays. He desires to show you how much you’re loved. He desires to give you good things. He desires to be the Good Father He knows you need.

I hate flying. Absolutely hate it, especially when it becomes turbulent. A smart friend tried to explain the science behind it, but I don’t buy it. It’s terrifying. However, part of my job requires me to fly. Ironic, right? Sometimes, when a plane can’t land at a designated airport, it stays in what’s called a holding pattern, circling over the airport until it can safely land. This could go on for hours, or until it runs out of gas (seriously, the science behind airplanes is ridiculous). How many of us live our lives in holding patterns? We truly want to follow God’s will. We want that adventure everyone keeps talking about. We want to be bold and to be truly happy. So why do we stay in a spiritual holding pattern?

There are a lot of reasons, but sometimes it’s because we wait until everything is perfect to truly follow Jesus — to land the plane. We can get stuck in a holding pattern of praying for God’s will to be done instead of just going boldly forth in faith, trusting that Jesus really is Lord over our lives and will guide me. Yes, it’ll be messy, sometimes inconvenient, and you’ll probably make mistakes, but that’s okay. Jesus never said, “Oops, you messed up too many times, I can’t use you now.”

Friend, you have such an amazing task given to you by the King for His kingdom here on earth that only you can fulfill. You have a job to do. You have people to love. You can’t put God in a cute little corner box and expect the world to change. You want more peace? Be more peaceful. You want more joy? Choose to be joyful. You want more love in this world? Be love.

It starts with you.

Change starts with you. The adventure that Jesus is truly inviting you on starts with you saying “yes” to Him every single day and allowing Him to be God over your life.

I want to end this little post with a Litany of Purpose that I’ve been praying the past couple of months. Print it out. Write it in a journal. Put it on your mirror, in your Bible, in your room. Pray it until you believe it. You have incredible purpose. Don’t let this time slip by and remain the same in your relationship with Jesus. The world needs you now. Please know that I’m on this journey too. Let’s pray for one another!

 

Litany of Purpose by Theresa Namenye

From complacency. 

From the habit of procrastination. 

From the desire to put off what is meaningful.

From gravitation towards distraction.

From the tendency to complain.

From the disposition of meddling.

From wasting time.

From disdaining the mundane but needed duties of my calling.

From convincing myself that I am failing.

From seeking instant gratification.

From giving up often.

From constant worry.

From being intellectually stagnant.

From being lukewarm of heart.

From avoidance.

From the pressure of tomorrow.

From feeding my insecurities.

From the poison of comparison.

From loathing hard work.

From burying my potential.

From not speaking the good in others.

From not seeking what is transcendent in all things.

From these, deliver me, please. 

 

To move with purpose. 

To pray sincerely.

To walk with grace.

To seek what is holy in everything. 

To appreciate what is beautiful in everything. 

To treat every human as Yours. 

To encounter truth with passion.

To combat temptation with fervor. 

To work hard.

To rest well.

To appreciate leisure. 

To take care of myself. 

To nourish my soul.

To practice virtue.

To plan intentionally.

To act accordingly. 

To be spontaneous.

To be creative.

To apologize quickly. 

To speak the good.

To run towards You.

To thank You.

To seek and notice You in all things.

To live through the lens of what is eternal.

To love and delight in You. 

For these, light a fire within me, please. 

Being a full-time youth minister during the summer can be exhausting. There are conferences and mission trips to coordinate, coffee dates to schedule, the upcoming year to plan, etc. I’ve noticed in past summers that my prayer life can go out the window. Zip. Gone.

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