I started writing and publishing articles online in 2000. During the 10 years that followed I wrote, edited and published hundreds of articles and blog posts. None of them went viral and most of them can only be found online in the Internet Archive these days. Most of them were religious and some of them, at least in my opinion, were really good.
I think it’s only fitting that this latest re-imagining of my website and blog should begin with a slightly updated version of one of my favorite articles from years gone by. I don’t know if you’ll enjoy it but I hope it makes you stop and think…
Refueled, Revitalized and Renewed
Let’s face it: most people are incredibly busy these days. Work, family, church and community commitments have many of us stretched almost to the breaking point. Using my own life as an example, I get up around 5:00 every morning, commute almost 2 hours to the office where I work long hours, then work part-time as our Parish Coordinator of Youth Ministry, and publish articles on my website every week. In a good week, I’m teetering on the brink of burn-out.
That’s why I’ve always tried to have faith in an idea that people have been presenting for many years. It’s a concept that strongly appeals to busy people like me, who are quite often running on empty. The idea is that we come together as a faith community each week to be refueled and revitalized. It’s the notion that we celebrate together in order to be renewed and gain strength for the coming week, so that we can go out into the secular world and make a difference.
What Kind of Fuel Do You Need?
I love that idea. What a wonderful concept! It’s certainly an analogy that most of us can identify with; just like refueling your car so that you can keep driving down that highway of life. The problem, of course, is that it’s easy to say but hard to do. I mean, what do people need in order to be refueled, revitalized and renewed? What do you need? What do I need?
Well, I’ll tell you what I need. I need connections with real people whom I can bounce ideas off of during the week, or whose advice I can seek when I’m faced with a difficult or complex decision. I need a welcoming community that doesn’t judge and condemn, but rather loves and supports. And most of all, I need something to help me connect what I hear on Sunday with what I do on Monday.
For example, I sit in the pews and listen attentively while I’m told that we shouldn’t be people of negativity. Let the love of Christ shine forth for all to see! Don’t cover that light with a bushel basket! We need to let it shine and make the world a brighter place!
We Need Something Practical
Okay! That sounds great! We’re fired up and ready to learn how to do that! How do we “let the love of Christ shine forth”? What can we do to “make the world a brighter place”? Because… um… if we knew how… we’d already be doing it. I understand that weekly Mass or church service can’t teach us everything but there should be a bit more effort in giving us some practical advice.
To stick with our earlier analogy: I don’t put milk in my gas tank. Even though milk can be a very good thing, it’s not what my car needs in order to keep going. And if my car needs specific things in order to keep going, why would I think that people are any less complex? So what is it that we need to keep going? What are some concrete ideas of things we can do in our workaday lives? How about a real-life example of what someone else has actually done?
Theory only goes so far. We need ideas on how to put great concepts into practice. In our faith lives, we need to understand how the Sunday sermon connects to the rest of the week. If we’re truly going to be people of Faith, then we need to know how to be a weekday people. We need to know what Sunday’s message really means when Monday morning rolls around. Likewise, all the business knowledge in the world is worthless if we can’t put it into practice. Let’s figure it out together!
Journal Prompts: What are some concepts that you’ve been taught that are hard to translate into everyday actions? What are some beliefs or philosophies that you have but don’t consciously and intentionally put into practice? If you feel you truly live your beliefs, write about how you do so.
Next Action: Subscribe to our mailing list so that you don’t miss any of our practical, action-oriented advice!
Further Reading: Just move onto the next post, which focuses on learning to ROCK the 9-to-5!