I know it’s May and our CAPC table topic is sleep, but my mind turns to the Feast of Pentecost, which the Church celebrates this year on May 27th. Pentecost commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles 50 days after Easter. Christ had promised the Apostles that he would send his Spirit to help and guide them, and this was the fulfillment of that promise.
I’ve been really tired the last few weeks. We went on a family camping trip for a week in California’s Gold Country and since we’ve returned I haven’t been able to get back into a rhythm. Lydia, my toddler, isn’t sleeping well. (Hah! This post is a wee bit about sleep issues!) This is a common problem when we travel, so I know it’s just temporary, but sleep deprivation stinks.
I’m not sure if it’s fatigue, sleeplessness, or something else, but I’ve felt spiritually dry and a little lost. It doesn’t help that the camping gear is still sitting in our front entry, reminding me that I need to get my act together. It certainly doesn’t help that I’m having a hard time honoring my commitment to prayer every morning and evening.
Most parents are afflicted similarly at one time or another. Parenting is a tremendous blessing, but it’s hard too. It tests our patience and endurance. It tests us in a way that can refine us, can lead us to the truth and God’s will for us, but that refining can be oh so painful. At times we have to allow our ordinary lives to be a prayer when we can’t find time to close ourselves away alone for prayer, meditation, and reflection. At times we struggle to find time to refuel the ol’ tank just past “EMPTY”, especially when we have littlies to care for.
Do you feel the same sometimes? Do you maybe feel the same today?
No matter how we feel, we can find true comfort in the Pentecost: It shows us that we’re never alone, never powerless, despite what our weary bodies may tell us. We are Christians; the physical body isn’t the limit of the strength available to us. Pentecost is the story of the beginning of the Church, and it started with an awesome display of God’s power, mercy, and love. Christ had Ascended 10 days earlier and the Apostles — who must have felt a little lost and confused themselves about where they had been and where they were going — gathered in the Upper Room with Mary to pray.
And then it happened.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with diverse tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Acts 2:2-4
Whoa! The Holy Spirit didn’t come down in a sprinkle of fairy dust. He came down in tongues of fire and rested on each one of the Apostles! The Apostles at that moment received the spiritual gifts they needed to spread the Good News of Jesus. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, they took to the streets and explained Christ’s message of love and mercy to people in their own languages. In that first day alone, thousands became believers. Now that’s power.
The Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church and her believers. If you’re a mama or papa struggling today, remember that the power witnessed on that Pentecost is the same power moving in our own lives today. The Holy Spirit dwells with us, giving us what we need to fulfill our holy mission as parents.
For me, I must be willing to face my weaknesses; I must be willing to pray, to respond, even in this hour of darkness and uncertainty. It doesn’t matter how I feel: It’s an objective fact that the Holy Spirit is moving in my life. Strength and clarity will return.
Photo credit (woman on beach): Lynn Morrow (photos.com)