Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Self-Entitlement or First World Spiritual Problems

This may be simply a symptom of my non-existent prayer life right now because I haven't exactly carved out much time for contemplation these days.

(Oh, but there are jokers on the internet who say "just get up before your kids to pray" to which I say which one? The one who wants to nurse at 3 am, 5 am, 7 am? Or the toddlers who are awake for the day before 6 am? Or the other jokers who think "you're home all day its the perfect time in life to focus on your prayer life" to which I say, were these people mothers to human children??)

I've had this gnawing and encroaching concept of self-entitlement seeping into my thoughts lately. But what's really scaring me is that this idea is creeping into my attitude towards prayer, Church in general, and when push comes to shove God.

Obviously our whole culture is constantly blaring messages of self-entitlement. And we've been used to pushing against this, buy less, accumulate less. But spiritually this idea seems a lot more insidious. I've noticed lately that my thoughts have been almost defaulting to a point of, "But I already do this and this...can't I just get a break God...you owe me!" But what have I done? Nothing. If simply living the life God has given me full of a ridiculous amount of blessings that I routinely dismiss, as well as some sufferings He thinks I can handle yet moan and complain about aplenty, what have I done thats been so earth-shaking that's changed the way God handles what goes on in the world? Have I really taken a load off of God's shoulders somehow? I think not.

I feel especially toad-worthy when I think about all the truly difficult things people I know are going through. People who have less than me are everywhere. And yes, even people with less children and people who are dependent on them for food and diaper changes have problems too.

I can't figure out what it is I really want anyway. Just for everything to be easy? All difficulty and push-back to be done away with? My own faults to magically disappear? I think sometimes I just want the difficulty of spiritual improvement to stop. I get tired of trying to be better, or even trying to do the everyday without completely failing and/or committing those pesky, repetitive common sins.  I wonder sometimes if the Christian life is so difficult not because it requires the heroic but simply a life well lived. A life well lived which needs thought and love behind action. Not a life spent cruising from screen to screen, experience to experience, comfort to comfort.

So I'm set on the path of trying to recognize my thoughts as soon as they go to self-entitlement land. And maybe if I recognize them I'll combat them with a small prayer of thanksgiving for all the good I really have! That would be a small miracle in itself.


  1. You're on the road to sainthood! It may feel like you've wandered off the path, but actually it's the obstacles that confirm that the path is the true one. The Holy Spirit is giving you discernment to make sure you get through this one - that's clear from your post. Just recognizing the shape of this particular season in your life, and this particular battle, is a huge help. It's really difficult when what you're having to resist is the cultural water you swim in and breathe. Hang in there...prayers are going up for you to our Mother!

  2. I think it's the strange blessing of the blogs - we get these insights into others lives and sometimes it can help us be a little more humble. I fall easily into the state of mind that just because someone had one second to take a cute picture on instagram or whatever that their lives are perfect and mine is the only one out of whack.... it's nice having those connections that set you straight.

    "Oh wait - someone has bigger child/money/husband problems? Damn, now I feel like a schmuck" <--- this happens constantly to me.

    I totally fall into the entitlement trap very easily - oh woe is me, haven't I suffered enough kind of stuff.

  3. you are very honest person admitting what you really feel even if it's not politicaly correct.


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