A Three-step Formula for Discovery
Advent is about waiting. But the followers of Christ are not called to “wait” in a typical, passive sense, but rather to a proactive standing-by. I know, it sounds like an oxymoron. The ministry I work for makes films. A common phrase in the filmmaking industry is “hurry up and wait.” Our life and faith is filled with a myriad of moments that invite us to be ready, be prepared, be poised to respond — at any given moment. ALWAYS be ready.
Advent is a season of preparation. A time to be ready and get ready. And there are countless ways in which we can do that.
Fr. Burke Masters, director of Vocations for the Diocese of Joliet and chaplain for the Chicago Cubs, once shared three simple questions we should ask ourselves — questions that call us to personal reflection and preparation, especially in light of our vocation and what God is calling us to do. These are great for all of us, but especially for young Catholics.
“What do I like to do?”
What interests me? Where do my passions lie? The things that really interest us tend to be where we want to spend our time. They are the things we like to talk about, the things that motivate us to keep moving forward. And those interests are planted within us by our Maker, who invites us to be the hands and feet of Christ.
“What am I good at?”
The things I do well are a gift. I am not the creator of my gifts, but the steward of them. Chances are, life will be most personally fulfilling when we are engaged in the things we do well. When we are doing things we love and are good at, we should be mindful of our third and final question — because answering it makes all the difference.
“Where do I see a need in the world?”
This important question should be followed with prayer. In prayer, that sounds like this: “How, Lord, do you want me to respond?”
This formula has the power to yield tremendous impact. What I like to do plus what I am good at plus recognizing a simple (or extraordinary) need equals a potent opportunity to change the world.
Jesus Christ came into the world to radically change and transform it. He LOVES to do that through his people. It doesn’t take complex formulas to figure out where we can contribute, but simple, reflective questions. And as it says in 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.”
ERIC GROTH is president and CEO of ODB Films. See ODBFilms.com.
This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, December, 2017
Image credit: Brian A. Jackson/ Shutter Stock 744297028