“Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.” ~ Unknown
Tenacity. It is something that many people admire. They like the tenacity that others exemplify in their jobs, in their study habits, in their pursuits. And, to be fair, tenacity can be quite helpful. Tenacity can be good. However, taken to the extreme, stubbornness can be bad. When we dig our heels in, we deprive ourselves of considering other options. We deprive ourselves of considering consequences. We deprive ourselves of the opportunity to do things correctly.
We make many mistakes in life. Some of us are quite good are mistakes. And, we should not fear them. Every year, we get a new group of servers. After their training and practices, we schedule them for Masses. They begin with chapel Masses in the summer so that they can get the practice that they need. Quite often, the look on their faces is akin to sheer terror. They are in the sacristy before Mass and they look like they’re ready to go on a death march. I always tell them the same thing: don’t worry. They are going to make mistakes. That’s inevitable. The most important thing is to learn from their mistakes so that the do not make them again.
That is the problem for many. Not the fact that they make mistakes; but, the fact that they never learn from their mistakes. They are so stubborn that they cling to the way they did things before and fail again. And again. And again. When they are challenged to look at things a different way or try something new, they become defensive and more immobile. Of course, that never helps the situation any.
We do the same things in our faith lives. Oftentimes, people complain about the fact that their prayer life just doesn’t seem to be working for them. They feel unfulfilled. When asked what they are doing, they will say that they are saying the same prayers that they learned dozens of years ago. When asked if they have ever considered changing things up, doing spiritual reading for their prayer, listening to spiritual music, et cetera, they reject the idea. If their years of praying the same way isn’t working, that’s not their fault, they say. They blame it on God instead.
Rigidity is never a good thing. Engineers will tell you that. When building a skyscraper, the first thing they do is factor in sway. Their buildings have to move to accommodate the winds. If they do not, the winds will move them anyway but, being rigid, the building will end up snapping and collapsing.
Your are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Is that temple so rigid that the winds of time threaten to bring it down? Or, have you planned ways to allow that temple to sway so that it remains strong. Consider letting go of things that are not working in your life and accept the possibility that it might be time to change.
FAITH ACTION: Be prepared to let go of anything that you discover you are doing wrong.