The 30-Second Hug

In these last three weeks of class, my schedule has become somewhat busier than usual.  And typically when that happens, instinct tells me the first thing that ought to be crossed off the schedule is some prayer time.

I know, I know— prayer multiplies our efforts; it needs to always be priority number one.  No argument there.  But a few days ago, I found myself at my bi-monthly confession appointment (and, wouldn’t you know it, I was late).  After I sat down and guiltily explained to the priest my missed (or cut-short) moments of prayer, he gave me some advice that I thought was worth repeating.

It is so important to have time set aside for regular, daily prayer.  It’s something we all need even more than the very air we breathe.  But when schedules get a little tighter for a time, or unexpected events happen that thwart our daily plans, we shouldn’t necessarily allow a missed rosary here or there to rob us of our peace.

The priest likened it to the difference between a long conversation between friends and a hug that lasts for 30 seconds.  30 seconds doesn’t sound like a long time, but when you think of a hug that lasts for 30 seconds, it’s a pretty long and meaningful hug—and sometimes you need that more than an hour-long conversation.

The point is of course that we need both.  A relationship built only on hugs is…well, kind of creepy actually.  But one devoid of the kind of emotional connection you get from things like hugs is missing something as well.

So we don’t always need to beat ourselves up if work or school won’t necessarily allow for that hour of adoration today.  Prayer isn’t supposed to be a holy time card; it’s about building a relationship.  And like any good relationship, hugs are mandatory :)