With fitness and wellness being so popular in this day and age, it’s hard to figure out what is “supposed to be done” at the gym.
There are so many ways to work out, and it can be completely overwhelming to newcomers of the fitness world.
Because of this, I have started hearing the advice more and more recently to just pick what you will stick with.
The idea is to not go and lift weights all the time if you hate it.
The thought process behind this is that even if a certain exercise may be better for you than another one, it’s best to choose the one you enjoy more because you are more likely to stick with it.
Any exercise is better than doing none at all.
I say this all not to talk about fitness this week, but rather to compare it to something sort of unexpected: prayer.
Growing up, I used to think there was something wrong with me because I didn’t pray every night before bed like is constantly depicted of any good Catholic.
The problem was, I didn’t know how to talk to God and felt that talking to him in such a formal way every night got very repetitive.
I would thank him for all my blessings and ask him to watch over those I love, but neither of those things changed very often.
To be completely honest, I would also get incredibly tired and fall asleep sometimes.
As I’ve grown up in the church and experienced many forms of worship, I’ve realized that there isn’t anything wrong with me.
I’m not a bad person for not praying beside my bed every night, and I really don’t think I’m going to hell for my lack of nighttime prayer either.
It simply isn’t the type of prayer that is best for me and for who I am. It’s not the type of prayer I’ll stick with.
The type of prayer that I love and have sustained throughout almost all of my life is singing. Music has always touched me deeply and it’s my favorite way to pray.
In the words of St. Augustine, “To sing is to pray twice.”
When you look at it like that, I definitely sing enough to make up four times over for all of the night prayer I’ve missed or fallen asleep during.
All jokes aside, my point here is that it’s perfectly natural that one type of prayer isn’t what speaks to me and makes me feel closest to God.
Everyone is unique and prayer preference is not an exception.
There are so many ways out there to pray like reciting traditional prayers, praying the rosary and trying more of a conversation-like prayer. I’ve even prayed with play dough before!
What matters most is the prayer, not how it happens.
Prayer is just one component to spiritual wellness and spending any time at all working on it, just like exercise, is better than spending no time on it at all.
Experiment and see what works best. No two people are the same, and God knows that.
He created us, after all, and I’d imagine his job would be a lot more boring if we all did the same thing all the time.