Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pride in Everyday Life.



Recently I’ve seen pride manifested in many different ways. I know of a friend of mine that runs a company. He is happy with the way it runs and is considering expansion. In order to expand the company he will have to invest some money. In order to raise the money needed for the investment, the staff was told to find ways to streamline operations. After researching, they came to the conclusion that my friend needed an operations manager to oversee the different roles within the company. This means that my friend has too many different tasks and therefore is not doing his job effectively. These staff members have approached me because they know my friend will be insulted if they suggest these changes. The stumbling block is that my friend will have to take direction from someone else regarding the company that he created. For the good of the company my friend has to realize that he cannot run it on his own. I am working on the approach that these staff members will need in order to show my friend the benefit gained from admitting that he cannot do it all.

I have recently observed someone else that has a bad family situation and will not admit that she is part of the problem. I have told her many times that she needs to listen to the other members of the family and correct her own behavior in certain areas. She responded to my first couple of efforts by giving me a rationale why her behavior was correct. He also suggested to me that I could be a better person by doing things her way. When I confronted her with the peaceful situation I live in, as opposed to own, she stopped talking to me.

Yesterday a woman called me and told me that she thinks she made a mistake with the company that put her new roof on. She told me that she called many different companies and asked them to come out and inspect her roof so that she would feel good about paying the company that had just finished putting it on. She told me that no one would come out because there was nothing in it for them. I will see her on Monday and give her an honest evaluation. I told her she could pay me with a hug.

I drive between 25 and 150 miles per day. I see people talking and texting on their cell phones, eating, reading, and many other things besides driving. They must think that these activities are more important than the rest of us sharing the roadway. They are also distracted from their goal of getting to their destination.

My cause and my goal is Christ. My love for Christ and my love for his people (the Holy Spirit) is my motivation. I see Christ and people as more important than me. I get joy from expressing my love. This means that for the good of the cause, it must look at any mistakes and corrections that I need to take with my own life to fulfill the cause. It also means that I must look out for things that will distract me. I have made many changes in the way I do my job so that the owners of the company, and my own paycheck will be better. I had to admit that someone else’s suggestion was smarter than the way I was doing things. When I drive I do not do anything else but drive my cause is my destination. It is this same thing with my everyday behavior. My cause is Christ and the love of others. Nothing will stand in the way of this, not even myself. Knowing that my cause lives in me creates a trust that stops me from worrying. The fact that my cause is so much greater than myself and that all the people in this world are dignified, loved, and respected by Christ keeps the reality of all of our dependence on God fresh in my mind. I get madder when I make a mistake then when others do because of the adverse effect it will have on others.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fearless Love Has a Price



As Christ’s continues to take over my behavior change my desires, I am becoming aware of a problem that He has had with me. For most of my life I have not fully accepted God’s love and all of God’s gifts. I felt that I didn’t deserve them or for some reason I should not be allowed to be loved that much with a disproportionate amount of reciprocation. God gives us everything and wants nothing in return. He has helped me overcome my own dysfunctions so that I might feel His love better.

He is now unleashing His, and my, love for others. He has helped me overcome my fear of what would happen if I really expressed my love for others. For example: I have made a few new friends in the past two weeks and I have made it clear to them that so long as their request is not an ethical or immoral, then my answer is yes before they even asked. This is real. In the past I would be afraid of getting burned. Now I just don’t care because I trust God. I will help them move, babysit their kids, help them with yard work, give them advise etc.

My new friends, and a lot of my old friends, simply don’t know how to take this. I suspect they wander what my angle is or what I want in return. I don’t push advice or show up at their door to help them. I am waiting for them to ask. Isn’t this what God does to all of us.

I can’t count the number of times where I have been aware of his gifts (such as confession, advice, a friend to help me do a physical task, the ability to forgive and let go etc.) and simply not asked Him to help me. He does not push. He simply waits.  I think the only reason that He reminds me of the fact that He is waiting for me to ask for help is because He knows I love him. I have laid out my willingness to help my friends in any way and made it clear to them that I want nothing in return. Now I wait. This sucks! I get joy out of helping people. Like Christ I am aware of their dignity, so I do not push my will on them. Simply put, I can’t make someone let me do them a favor.

People have not changed that much from the time of Christ. 

I take comfort in the fact that no one will ever stop me from praying for them and submitting my will to God for their benefit.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Change My Personality Please



Continuing on the thought of Christ as being the cause of everything I do, it occurred to me that it is easy to be humble. He is the cause, and therefore the motivation, and the Holy Spirit is the power behind all of my good actions. I remain totally dependent on God for all good things that come out of me. The opportunity for my participation with His will, Providence, is even a gift from Him. As I alluded to in the past posts, all of my sufferings are easier because they are for His will (and I can unite them with His suffering).  This has the effect of the evening out the highs and lows of my emotions.

Trust has a lot to do with this as well. I have come to the point where my acceptance of what happens is at an all-time high. The triune God has proven over and over again to me that unless I am in mortal sin, I should not worry. I have started a new practice of not caring about what happens to me every day. In my morning prayers I vent, and then listen. Then I tell Him about my plans for the day and give Him permission to rearrange things. I am finding that I don’t get that disappointed when things go wrong and I don’t get that excited when things go right.

The latest thing God is changing in my life is how I express our (the Holy Spirit in my) love for other people. Because God’s agenda is my primary cause, and I don’t know what His agenda is, I just want to get to know another person in order to see how I can help them. I also don’t know what God wants for them so I am not pushing anything I think they need. I am finding that some of my….. how should I put this, over willingness to share my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned in life, are being omitted.

I have asked the Holy Spirit to take over my life so that Providence, God’s will, is done to the fullest. A few weeks ago in prayer, I got a deeper sense of what Christ meant when He said to love others as He loves. He does not overwhelm us. He invites us. He feeds us what we ask for and shows us what to ask for (Him). I am a little different. I do not know the person I encounter so I have to ask questions and get to know them. The Holy Spirit seems to be forming the questions I ask and, at my great delight, keeping most of the pushy part of my personality out of the conversation. The result is that I am a curious servant.

I cannot describe the joy I feel knowing that God is suppressing, teaching me at the same time, my selfish and prideful ways during conversations.

On a side note: in my last post I mentioned that I had a business decision to make. I said I feel like a racehorse stuck in a barn. After a lot of prayer, I have been inspired to not do anything at this time. I have also been enlightened to the fact that I am God’s racehorse in God’s barn for God reason and because I have given my will to God, He will direct my future. Sometimes God has to kick you in the butt and that is what He did. My inpatients, because of lack of sales, was about to cause me to make a decision that was not in His plans. I laughed out loud at my stupidity after that corrective insight. I sold 4 roofs last week.

I love all of you.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Purpose



I have recently been praying the rosary every day as part of my self-improvement obsession. I have also been contemplating a new business venture. Why? What drives me to be better than am? When I was a teenager I would often contemplate; “Is this all that I am?” Thinking of my recently passed mother, I began to wonder about all of the people that have come and gone in this world that no one remembers. They did not make a difference that anyone can see. True, they might have caused someone to love God and others more and therefore contributed to that person's greatness. That is all well and good, but deep within me is the feeling of a race horse trapped in a barn.

Right now I have a wonderful job and I can say, honestly, that I love the people and the company I work for. I can also say that just being a roof estimator and in my spare time, volunteer and adviser to others, is not enough. I want to make a difference for Christ and others. Why? What is my cause? Why am I driven this way? The only answer I can come up with is Jesus. He is the why in my life. The Holy Spirit drives me to be more than what I am in my present situation.

I am fifty years old. I have not done anything significant to make a difference in the cause of love. I have not helped mankind that much. If I died tomorrow, not a lot of people would even remember me in twenty years. To my knowledge I have only made a difference in a small number of people’s lives. Simply put: I am unfulfilled.

As I ponder this upcoming challenge, I am beginning to realize that the cause (love for man and God) will make the tasks, sufferings and disappointments less painful. Jesus, Mary, and all those who have done God’s will have proven this.

My trust in God and my belief that He will help me is my strength.

I ask all of you to ponder your purpose.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The View of Challange



Before I start this post it is necessary to quote from the last post.

“Life is work. Working on life is freedom. Freedom is real fun. The Catholic Church is the body of Christ. Christ is life.

I have freedom from: money, food, fat, using other people, clouded judgment, sin, death, and self.

I am/do: Catholic, athletic, healthy, wealthy, giving, responsible, reliable, humble, a roof estimator, a resource, a counselor, a healer, God’s will, thin, and clean. I am not alone.”


I have been reflecting on this while praying the rosary. It occurred to me how much Jesus (and all that followed Him) worked for us. In the sorrowful mysteries, Jesus foresaw how much He would have to endure. He had the power to be selfish and not go through it. His love for God’s will, which is love of mankind, is what He said yes to. The many ways this is applicable to the rest of the rosary is self evident.

During Jesus’ life He worked for the higher purpose. He was athletic. He chose to eat healthy food. By His very nature, He was giving, responsible, a resource, a counselor, and a healer. He worked on these things. He could have been lazy.

All this work sounds tedious and boring. Working at life seems like it would not be very fun. On the other hand, being lazy and self centered is not very fun either. The difference is a fulfillment. The joy and peace that comes from fulfilling, by participation, God’s will is fantastic. It is worth all the pain that God allows us to go through (and most of that is to teach us something).

Everything is a challenge. Participating in God’s will, Providence, is a challenge. What matters is how you look at a challenge. If you get overwhelmed by a challenge, then you need to ask for help, which is humility. I find challenges fun because I know of how dependent I am on God. Part of the challenge is to trust God. I cannot think of a challenge that I have overcome by myself.

One more point. If we are to be like Christ, then we have to work on life like He did. We are not alone and the Holy Spirit lives within us, so we have a lot of help.