On my knees


26 May 2015

I have been resenting my knee exercises recently.  I know they’re good for me, and as my physiotherapist keeps on reminding me, my knees will not get stronger unless I regularly do my exercises.  But I keep on finding other things to do with my spare time other than said knee exercises: sleep, catching up with friends throughout the week, bike riding, hiking, swimming, gardening, reading, crocheting, anything really, other than those blasted knee exercises.

Unfortunately for me, spending time outside in nature is rather essential for my soul and my mental well-being. Especially spending time up mountains – which requires one’s knees to be moderately happy and strong while they walk the rest of me up to the mountain peak. Of course, as I continue hiking in pain, I regret not having been more conscientious about doing my knee exercises daily. The memory of this lesson fades during the week, and I inevitably end up filling my time again with other more pleasurable activities.

My prayer life can also be a bit like this. I get distracted by other things, and by the time nightfall comes and I tumble into bed exhausted, I guiltily tell myself that tomorrow I will be more diligent in setting time aside for lectio, meditation or the examen. And the funny thing is that whenever I do consciously spend time with God, I enjoy it so much that I wonder why it took me so long to do so again, but then I forget that joy, and weeks can pass by before I again deliberately spend time with God.

I have been wondering recently about whether I am living out my vocation as best I can. This has brought up a fair amount of existential angst as I ponder with God what the living out of discipleship looks like, for me where I am now.

And as I read over past prayer journal conversations, I am struck by the continual drawing back to basics: of being faithful in the little things, of being honest, loving, open, generous, transparent.

It’s rarely about big courageous radical actions, but of faithfulness in the monotony of daily life, of regularly spending time with God, of integrity in small decisions, of exercising one’s spiritual and physical muscles daily, knowing that they need to be regularly used in order to sustain us for the long haul.

Christina Rocha is a Canberra writer and lawyer.
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