Give God the First Appointment Each Day

Authored By: Jennifer Jordan

GIVE GOD THE FIRST APPOINTMENT EACH DAY

By Jennifer Jordan

I recently saw the movie "Pulp Fiction" -- that is the first 10 minutes of it. The excessively crude language in the beginning tempted me to leave. The point blank gunshots to a terrified victim's head a few minutes later convinced me it was time to leave.

It is difficult to believe that a crude, violent movie, such as this appealed to so many Americans. Even more amazing is the fact that a respected motion picture association ranked "Pulp Fiction" one of the best pictures of the year.

I was talking about the movie last week with a friend when a third woman chimed in and said she thought Pulp Fiction was "a great movie." When I expressed my opinion that it was very violent, she responded, "Violence doesn't bother me." Her reaction concerned me. I don't want to become so comfortable viewing violence that it no longer bothers me.

My leisure time is very limited. I try to fill it with pleasant thoughts and activities. Some people enjoy reading gruesome murder mysteries and watching violent television criminals stalk their victims. I don't want to feed my mind fear and cynicism. When I have time to read, I enjoy something educational, inspirational or downright funny. I would rather dream about humorous one-liners than have nightmares about running from the bad guys.

We have many choices regarding what we feed our minds and bodies. Many of us changed our eating habits after hearing the warnings of medical experts. How many of us pay that much attention to our spiritual well being? I recently read a thought-provoking column that questioned whether our spiritual diet is a regular meal or a snack on the run? Many days, mine is reduced to a snack in the car.

I know that I am influenced by the optimism or pessimism of my friends. I make an effort to surround myself with positive people. It is a privilege to share my family joys with supportive, Christian friends. During difficult times, these individuals become messengers of hope.

One such messenger is my friend Nancy. She attributes her peace of mind to reading the Bible for 15 minutes each morning. She introduced me to a Catholic couple who share the Bible every evening. "Some nights, it's a full chapter; other nights, only a verse," the wife said. The couple has established a habit that nurtures their bond with each other and with God. I am not an expert on marriage, but believe that their shared spirituality will be a source of strength during hard times.

Each of us finds God in his or her own way. Some families find strength in gathering to say the Rosary or evening prayers. My friend, Loretta, talks to God during her morning jog. Mike attends Mass every Wednesday morning and Sunday.

If I have one resolution this year, it is to schedule a specific time each morning for prayer. Since my mornings are hectic, it means waking up early and being organized. God deserves a scheduled appointment on my calendar. Employers, teachers, repair persons and friends have reserved time. Yet, except for Sundays, God seems to get squeezed in when there is a cancellation.

In a world filled with messages of violence and gloom, it is important to feed our minds and hearts positive thoughts. Build a network of optimistic friends who aren't convinced the world is terrible. Choose entertainment that uplifts rather than diminishes your faith in mankind. Begin each day right. Give God the first appointment.

This article appeared in the January 19, 1995 issue of "The Arlington Catholic Herald."

Courtesy of the "Arlington Catholic Herald" diocesan newspaper of the Arlington (VA) diocese. For subscription information, call 1-800-377-0511 or write 200 North Glebe Road, Suite 607 Arlington, VA 22203.

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