A Beginner's Guide To Adoration

A Beginner's Guide To Adoration

You don't have to just sit there and stare at the altar.
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If there's one thing I never understood growing up, it was adoration. You mean we're supposed to just sit here for an hour? I'd think every time my CCD class would be required to attend adoration. I'd sit there and count the seconds till it ended, not sure what to do and not even giving it a try. After my forced adoration experiences in CCD, I wrote it off as something not for me and figured I'd never go voluntarily.

Fast forward a few years, and I'm a junior in college. Recently, the chapel in my dorm started holding adoration every Thursday evening, and while at first I assumed I'd never go, I heard other students talking about how much peace it brought them and how close to God they felt after spending just 30 minutes alone with Him in the chapel. I considered going, and when a friend asked me to cover her 30-minute adoration "shift" (students sign up for shifts to ensure somebody is always in the chapel), it was the kick in the butt I needed to go.

Armed with my journal and Bible, I sat towards the front and checked the time: 7:00. I had to stay until at least 7:30. Looking around, I saw other students kneeling, so I did, too. I bowed my head and waited to feel "holy." And waited. And waited.

Frustrated and feeling like I'd been there forever, I checked the time again: 7:03.

Everyone else made adoration look so easy- they say with their eyes closed, seemingly in perfect peace and contentment, while for me, every second seemed to drag. Trying to pass the time, I opened my Bible to a random page, read a verse, then opened my journal to write my thoughts on it.

As I wrote in the Lord's presence, I started to come to new insights, discovering and seeing new insights in Scripture I hadn't ever thought of before. It didn't take long for me to be back on my knees, praying to God and hearing His voice fill me with clarity on all the troubles and stress in my life. After I felt content and fulfilled, I checked the time again: 7:45.

Since then, I've gone to adoration every week. Some nights I find great insights and hear God's voice, other nights it's more like the CCD experiences were I feel awkward and bored, and that's okay. It all depends on what's on my mind and how desperately I need to hear God. That said, I've found bringing my journal, Bible or a devotional helps guide me and get me in the "adoration mood." They're good kick starters for entering into silence with God.

I also like to start by asking God to give me patience and quiet my thoughts. Nowadays, silence isn't really the norm, so the first few moments of adoration feel awkward. The best way to get used to the silence of adoration? Sit with it. If you ask God to sit with you, slowly the awkwardness fades away, adoration goes from the boring thing you're forced to do to the faith-filled experience you choose to go to.

Cover Image Credit: NDSMC Observer

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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How Incorporating Organization In My Daily Routine Single-Handedly Changed My Life

And how it can structure yours.

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It would be a complete fabrication of the truth if I pretended that my life in any way has been picture perfect. Things are messy, life is messy, and my life becomes an endless cycle of self provoked destruction.

I've had short bursts of motivation as a last expedient to seize control of the downward spiral I have endured. But mostly they have diminished along with any motivation I have left.

None of these short term solutions have yet to salvage my mental, physical, and academic state. SO, as an attempt to overhaul my life, I decided the best way to strive for control, is to organize every aspect of my life.

Yes, this could become unhealthy if I used this tactic as a way to tear myself down or over analyze my accomplishments, or lack thereof. But I try to view my life as something I have a say in while considering that not everything will be perfect or completely satisfy my goals for myself.

To successfully enact this measure, I try to never go into a day unaware of what I must accomplish, what tasks/work I have to attend to, and stocked with a full calendar and set of alarms that prevent me from missing deadlines. Although mildly time-consuming to detail my life in advance, it is greatly beneficially outweighed through the amount of time this tactic saves me.

Recently, I have noticed how much happier I have been, and feel as if my life is back on track and it's future in my hands. This has allowed me to work an upwards of 50 something hours a week, see and manage friends, read and keep up with hobbies, as well as give me peace of mind and time to relax with loved ones.

I am grateful for the role that organization has played in my life and suggest that everyone incorporate some type of underlying structure in their lives, to realize that anything is achievable with proper organizational preparation.


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