30 Apr

“The only failure is not to try.”  ~ George Clooney

Parents have a tough job.  They have to motivate their children to try all sorts of things:  new adventures, new schools, new foods, et cetera.  It can be very difficult to motivate someone who is locked in to a certain way of doing things, a certain food, and the like.  I can appreciate the tack that some parents use with the “try it” rule:  try it and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to do/eat it.

That seems to work for many things.  The interesting thing about it is that, once a person tries something, he/she often finds out that he/she likes it after all.  I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve seen, while I was on vacation and out at a restaurant, a child’s eyes light up because the food that they “tried” turned out to be phenomenal.  Or the child who tried to accomplish something like learning how to ride a bike becoming an avid bike rider.

We often fear something that is unknown to us and therefore conclude that we don’t like it.  Perhaps it’s easier on our ego to say we don’t like something than to say that we fear something.  To admit that we fear implies a weakness of sorts.  To say we don’t like implies that we have made an informed choice.  But how can an informed choice be made if we have never tried that which we say we don’t like?

I can see your brains working.  I hear the question you are forming:  “Where are you going with this reflection, Fr. Mike?”  Well, there are people who do not do certain things in the faith — different prayer styles, different ministries, different volunteer opportunities — because they say that they do not like them.  However, they have never done them in the first place, so how can they conclude that they do not like them?

And so far I was keeping it safe by saying “they” and “them”.  Let’s get personal and talk about you.  How have you let fear of the unknown keep you from delving deeper in the faith?  How have you decided that you were not going to learn certain prayer styles or do different volunteer work?  What is keeping you from reaching out and doing as much as possible for the Lord?

FAITH ACTION:  Don’t be afraid to try something new and/or different in your faith life.  You just might like it.