There are times in our lives when things just get too stressful, too busy, or too complicated to make time for the things we want to do. Sadly, one of the most common things to neglect is our religion and spirituality.
“I don’t have time to make an offering today,” I say as I roll out of bed. “I’m too busy. Tomorrow. I will do it tomorrow.”
And then tomorrow comes and no offering is made and I make another excuse.
“Something came up! I will attend the gods tomorrow. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.”
I feel like I’m in an Annie musical: Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll love you…tomorrow. Not today. But tomorrow.
The thing about tomorrow is that it’s an abstract term these days. It can mean anything from “the day following this exact day, this one, right now as we are experiencing it” or it can mean sometime in the distance, a date not quite determined. “The technology of tomorrow, today” and that kind of thing. But here’s the thing: we keep promising tomorrow, yet tomorrow doesn’t come.
Why is that?
I know that, often, I have been busy, stressed, and confused of late but I have leaned on my gods heavily in the last calender year. Since January, when I began my depressed and anxiety-ridden descent into slowly losing my mind, I began to pray more often, to depend on my gods to get me through the dark recesses of my own mind, to call out to them in my low moments and hope they could carry me back to my own feet. And many times, they did. Or, at least, someone did. I would find myself relit with a touch of strength that I had not known before to get me through my day. I would sigh in relief, relax into myself, and breathe.
But, even then, I would not reciprocate their actions. Instead, I would make excuses for my lack of reverent acts, avoiding even the most basic offerings I could do (light a stick of incense and a candle then be on my way). In part, though, that’s because climbing a mountain of dirty laundry to get to my shrine and altar against the far wall of the bedroom was…less than ideal. But, as I gain more mental strength and stability, I begin to tackle the problem of the Laundry Beast, as I have dubbed it (I feel like I am always washing the same five things and this thing will not die), and I begin to get more access to my altar.
Like yesterday, for example. But that’s a tale for another post. The next post, in fact.
But there are times when we take a misstep. We allow our relationships with the gods to falter and dwindle and, in some cases, die outright. There are times we can get them back, true, but the gods do not have the same sense of necessity as we mortals do. If they feel they don’t need you, they will drop you. At least, in my experience.
And yet, the gods may still be there when you tackle your own life problems and find a place for them in your schedule again. Often, they will. But do not forget your promises, your oaths, and your dues when you return. The gods demand sacrifices, in my experience. It can be as small as a few moments of your time before the altar with a lit candle and a stick of incense, or as heavy as a severe loss, one that leaves you bitter and broken on the floor. The gods are not us and we should not expect them to be.