This speech is my recital, I think it's very vital To rock (a rhyme), that's right (on time) It's Tricky is the title, here we go...
So, in the obvious statement of the year (early candidate), life can be tricky. Oh, and inspire classic 80’s rap. (Note: RUN-DMC still stands as one of the best concerts I’ve ever gone to).
I’ve been feeling taxed a lot since my World Youth Day mission and pilgrimage hangover. I’ve chalked it up to being tired, stressed, juggling too many things, poor discipline in prayer, bad eating habits, the list goes on. The “results” of life were still relatively good, but I knew something needed to be changed when this humorous and entertaining conversation #humbled me entering Lent:
(Pretend Family Camping. Jacinta was the mommy, I was the daddy, and Sharon was the kid) Sharon: "Mommy can you tell me about you and daddy's wedding? Jacinta: "Sure, the building was a castle and my cake was tinkerbell, you like tinkerbell right?" Sharon:"yeah was daddy there?" Jacinta:"yeah he was there" Sharon:"what was he doing?" Jacinta:"well your daddy was on the computer the whole day, and I freaked out!"
Through the Looking Glass
So apparently (with some room for mercy) my daughter thinks I’m a lazy couch potato who sits on the computer all day… even on my wedding day! Sure it was play time, but it gave me a little wake up call. How true is my lived reality? Am I being honest with myself?
The reality is I think I have been tricking myself along with the help of Satan, and yes I think that happens. (If Pope Francis talks about him, so will I). I’ve always attached to evil as a twisting or distorting of the true, good, and beautiful. There is only one Creator, all sin can do is distort. In my sinfulness and lack of awareness, I’ve let things get distorted. I think this happens to us all throughout life; but I think we run into trouble like I’ve been sensing when we fail to do one critical thing.
Are we afraid to examine?
Recently, I learned of a neat evaluation idea from my boss Blake. I was afraid to do it, but I’m doing it anyways. It is a three step process. (adapt to your circumstance as needed)
- Write down 10 statements of how you perceive your ministry (whatever you’re evaluating: ex. your parenting, marriage, work, health, friendship)
- Then get those that are your audience or involved to do the same – For me parishes in the Diocese (ex. your spouse, children, employees, doctor, BFF)
- Compare and discern what needs to improve.
So I’ve been convicted to work this process personally and professionally in the early part of 2014 and it has been humbling and I’ll admit unpleasant in ways. I’ve been letting priorities and more importantly people down. The good is that for me Lent is a perfect time to work through the changes I need to make. I hope what I’m journeying through relates to others and can bring some hope and encouragement.
To start I’ve needed to pull back from some efforts temporarily (such as projectym) to divert energy to more pressing needs and priorities arising from that little examination. Call it spiritual triage. I hate the feeling of pulling back, but there is a place for pruning in our lives. In the end our formed conscience is what we’re accountable to; so we need to do what we’re called to do. No excuses. Full Stop.
So let us this Lent take some time to examine and make our efforts count. In the end the goal is not to be tricked or distracted, but be faithful to our mission.