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
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
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
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.