Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lent #1: Sharing my faith


What am I going to do for Lent?

This has been going around in my head off and on for the last few weeks--thanks to the proddings of Fr. Jason. And I've settled on the effort of being more open and direct in my own faith and speaking my faith a bit more loudly than I otherwise do.

In some ways, I try to be a bit unassuming. I think I try to avoid the spotlight and don't need to seek out credit for things. I enjoy being a team player, but not necessarily out in front. Which is not to say that I can't lead or that I refuse to be in charge. But I hope that I am circumspect about it. I'll do what is asked of me and I'll move on to the next thing. I don't want to be too precious about the things that I do--either in my professional life or my personal activities. I will take the lead when I need to. I'll listen to the opinions of others and do the best I can in the way that I think is best. And I'll get things done and go to something else.

Success is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration, some people say. And there is truth in that, because doing work is sometimes more important than being right. But I've learned from my parent's own example in their church life that sometimes success is based strongly on being there. You don't need to have all the answers. But you need to be available. You need to be in attendance. And you need to be willing to say yes to requests. While I've not said yes to everything that is put in front of me, I've tried to say yes more often than not.

So, all this is to say that I'm willing, I guess. But I'm not anyone special. Just there and trying to be open to the possibilities in front of me.

But. . . that unassuming attitude can sometimes slip into a lack of ownership and a lack of commitment. I don't want to be complacent. And so during this Lent and beyond, I want to speak out more clearly about what I believe and why I believe it. How does my religious faith define me? How does it inform my actions? What is valuable in my life because of faith? Can I be more honest about  where my faith needs to grow? And I hope I'll get the chance to reflect back on how my past religious experiences have changed me and made me a better person and taught me things about how to be a better adult, a better father, a better Christian.

In my life I've been blessed with lots of experiences in and around church. I've known many good people and family who do their best. And I've been helped by many, many people from the day I was born until now--people wanting the best from me and cheering me on and wishing me well.

I've been privileged in so, so many ways. And I need to continually recognize that privilege and be thankful for it, but remember to tear it aside and look beyond it to find those who have never had it as good as I. How can I take my advantages and turn them towards those in need? And when another opportunity crops up, and I'm there . . . ? Give me the confidence and the strength to step forward a bit more. I hope I can encourage myself here to not hide from responsibility. Doing this is going to open the door for more chances to say yes. For more chances to break my routine and my comfort. I hope I can do a better job of recognizing that and trying to cheerfully embrace the need for change.

No comments: