Consider this… What’s holding you back?
Have you ever had someone tell you that you’re not giving it your all? Or, have you ever worked on a project that you just weren’t into? How about interacted with people that you simply tolerated because you had to, but you really didn’t enjoy the event or the people you were with? I am sure all of us have had moments in our lives where we don’t fully invest. This doesn’t mean we don’t care, it just means we’re not giving it our 100% best effort.
How often do we give our best effort? Do we reserve our very best for special occasions? Special circumstances? That big project? Evaluation time at work? There are times that all of us put forth a more concerted effort for one reason or another.
This weekend’s readings remind us that we are invited to find what is holding us back in life, leave it behind and really live as a disciple. Practicing our faith as disciples really does make a difference.
A Pew center research study found that 40% of adults who were practicing their faith weekly (considered highly religious) describe themselves as very happy versus 29% of those who were less religious (not practicing their faith weekly). When looking at family life, families that practice their faith together are more likely to hand on the faith to the next generation by participating in their faith life together. That means if you want your children to be good disciples, then parents need to be good disciples too. Teens specifically are 75% more likely to attend mass with a parent. Around three-quarters of teens who engage in religious activities with their family say these pursuits bring them “a lot” of enjoyment (27%) or “some” enjoyment (51%). And many teens express both sentiments: Among teens who say they participate because their parents want them to, 79% also say they get at least some enjoyment from it.
What does this mean for all of us? It means that when we give our faith, and relationship with Jesus our all, the benefits can change not only our lives, but the lives of our children and grandchildren. When it comes to our faith, why are we holding back? Do we get too focused on what the world defines as valuable? Whatever it is that takes us away from practicing our faith on the weekend does not set us up as individuals, and as families to be the best we possibly can be. That’s right, attending mass, praying together and practicing our faith not only makes us happier, it makes us more productive, invested members of society, that influence in a positive way the next generation!
When it comes to our faith, we need to stop allowing the things that hold us back from being that committed Disciple to dominate our lives. Don’t let other things, activities, distractions, keep you from totally committing to the life Jesus invites all of us into. When it comes to practicing our faith, when we give our all, the benefits are definitely out of this world!