Keeping A Promise

by: Kenisha Alemao

I was never great at keeping promises or secrets. That’s why this Lent, I broke my promise, it started well, but I lost touch. That’s right, I had two Lenten promises: 

-to stop watching TV sitcoms

-to pray the Rosary with my family every day

I know, quitting TV? Isn’t that a bit much?  But for me, I was constantly addicted to watching TV sitcoms on my phone, whenever I had the time. I sacrificed my family time, homework time and also my free time. I didn’t have time to read a book, like I used to. I was also rushing my obligations, losing track of time and trying to make up for lost time because of my dependency on TV. That’s why I made the vow of stopping completely, and to gain a good habit and benefit out of it: time management and more free time.

Before I even knew it, Ash Wednesday came, and I broke my promise already. I tried to stop every day, but this overwhelming temptation came over me, and I couldn’t help it. With this, my prayer life went down the drain, and I didn’t even attend my parish’s program for teens (LifeTeen), which I usually do. In addition, after a week of Lent, my family and I stopped praying the Rosary. For this Lent, temptation came over me, and I couldn’t stop myself.

    Usually, I always remind myself how Jesus suffered in the desert without food or water for forty days. This would motivate me to be “Christ-like”, and give up something really important to me. Of course, it wasn’t the same as with Jesus’ suffering, but if I struggled, I would always think of God’s Son. I knew Satan had lured me back to where he wanted me to be, watching videos every day, even when I really tried to put the phone away. Good Friday came quickly, and even though Lent was over the day before, I knew I couldn’t spend time on my phone, knowing that my Lord died that day. So, I would do different tasks, but I would keep checking my phone, first wondering why I unlocked my phone, then I would realize what I did, and then I would put the phone down. Later on that day, I went to see “The Passion of the Christ” movie at my parish, where I would always cover my eyes when Jesus got tortured. But I made another promise to myself and opened my eyes while Jesus got tortured. I was yelling at God to stop this pain I felt, but I knew the Passion had to happen to redeem our sins. At the end of the movie, I knew what I had to do. I was going to try the no phone thing the next day.

        Easter rolled by (finally, Alleluia!), and the priest’s message in his homily at Mass was to celebrate Easter every day, not just that day. This really spoke to me. That’s why this Easter season, I’m doing my Lenten promises, to abandon the videos, and to pray the Rosary every day, with my family. I am celebrating my free time and lack of dependency on TV and I pray more with my family. I do not consider this as suffering, but as a celebration. I am choosing to make Easter a chance for me to be a better and more giving person to others. I know that the Lord is patient, He wanted me to get rid of my TV dependency, for a while, but it would just take time. I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders, and I feel like I am a happier person who is giving more time to others who need my help. I know the Lord has something in store for me, as He does for all of you!

Let Him come into your life, and take away the obstacles in the path, your path is destined for greatness. But be patient, it will take time, as it did for me. With my new free time, I have more time to love and pray, evangelize and witness. As Mother Teresa said, "if you can’t feed a hundred people, just feed one." I 'm not feeding anybody here, but the main message is this: One step at a time. God is with you along the way.