The past few weeks have been a grueling experience for everyone. On several levels we have seen a great deal of worry, mistrust, uncertainty, blame and unprofessionalism. Things that should never pass for leadership, have passed on every side. As much as creating a culture of fear concerns me, I know that I have been a willing participant. Here's proof (and here, and here).
I know this, too: Luke's Gospel (21: 5-19) was the reading we used for Lectio Divina last night at church. The word that has stayed with me in this practice of letting Scripture reveal truth to me, is the word 'terrified.' Its residual effect has to do (I'm guessing) both with being instructed not to be terrified and with my own awareness that I have used that word more in the past month than in my entire life, collectively.
Also Daring Greatly showed up on hold for me at the library this week. I must have requested it weeks ago and as always, the library hold system (animated by the Holy Spirit) is precisely on time. There has been a great deal of introspective reading on my nightstand recently, but what this book (and this week) have reminded me is that my vulnerable heart and physical presence are needed now more than ever--for my own sake and the sake of those around me.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man (woman) who
points out how the strong man (woman) stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man (or woman) who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives
valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and short coming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions; who spends himself (herself) in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he (she) fails, at least fails while daring greatly..."
-Theodore Roosevelt, The Man in the Arena
When asked what I want to pass on to my girls, over and over again I have heard myself say that I do not want them to fear the world around them. From a Christian perspective we are encouraged in this way throughout Jesus' ministry. And, speaking from my own experience I hope that they do not have to repeat mistakes I have made. I have feared illogical, unimportant, petty things that have turned out to be a waste of energy, and in some cases have prevented me from exploring things and loving people that might have otherwise provided much joy.
A healthy view of the world? Yes. Flat out fear? Please, no!
As it turns out, these kiddos bring out important questions and insights of their own. Hop over Catholic Mommy Blogs today for these concluding thoughts.