There have been some changes in my life lately. I was recently asked to take a position at my church helping with our Hospitality Ministries, that is to say our greeters, ushers, coffee and doughnuts, new parishioner welcome, and a couple others. After praying about it and talking about it with my wife, we decided it was something that we could take on as a family. While my name is the one on the position, it really is a family position. Without the support of my wife and children I would have been unable to take the position. I made it clear when accepting that I could only take the position as long as it didn’t take away from my family, such as missing family events because of meetings or issues. I am blessed that I belong to a parish in which they would have it no other way. I have already been blessed by meeting new and wonderful people that I am working with to make our parish a more hospitable place to all those who enter our doors.
Shortly after accepting the position, I was asked by another group at our parish if I would consider joining their team as well. My immediate response was that having just taken the hospitality position and already having a personal commitment on the evening that they meet was that I was unable to accept. I was asked to think and pray about it, and I agreed. The very next day the kids and I were in the car on our way to pick up some field fence I had found on Craigslist for a really good deal. Normally in the car we have one of two Christian music stations on, but where we were driving I couldn’t get reception from either station. I decided to flip on the Catholic talk station. They were talking about the Ignation exercises and following God’s will. Wanting to follow God’s will myself, and knowing only a very little about the Ignation exercises my ears perked up and I listened intently. The speaker gave some examples about discerning God’s will in our lives and how different situations could affect that discernment. The statement that stood out to me went something like this, “God will never call you away from your station in life. If you are a religious, He won’t call you away from that. If you are married, and have children, He won’t call you to something that takes away from that station.” His example was of a woman being asked to lead some of the music ministries, which fell right within her talents and desires. But the responsibilities would take her away from her family for too long. I felt this was God speaking to me telling me that what I had already accepted was more than enough and not to take on more. I was very at peace with that decision.
The same week that my new position began I was at a meeting where a sister gave a talk on mission and how we are all called to a mission. Whether it is to the people in our church, in our community, or someplace far away we all have a mission. In her talk she spoke of how we are all like reservoirs, and that we all need to first be filled in order to overflow and be able to give to others. We can be filled by prayer, contemplation, reading the bible, going to Mass, receiving the Eucharist, etc. Without first doing these things, we wouldn’t have the graces we need to spill over onto others. Not coincidentally that morning I received a devotion in an daily email I get from Dynamic Catholic. It was this…
God definitely speaks if we listen. Sometimes I feel like he has to shout at me in order for me to hear, but I am working at being a better listener. At the end of sister’s talk she said that “God will give you the grace you need for the mission you are called to.” More or less, if you don’t have the grace for a particular mission, you probably aren’t called to it. I feel like…I hope I have the grace to perform this new position at my parish. No matter what, I know that He will give me the grace I need.