Friday, September 17, 2010

Run, Run As Fast As We Can

My nephew Frederick will turn two years old later this month. His favorite things, which also happen to be his favorite words, include cars, trucks, cheese, boats, trees, sail boats, and dump trucks. He also runs everywhere he goes. Literally. At first I thought it was just to get his favorite toys, or to come to dinner (especially if cheese was on the menu!). But, this sense of urgency was apparent when cleaning up his toys, going down for a nap or giving hugs goodnight. He runs everywhere.

When I wasn't getting a good chuckle out of how fast his little legs could propel him, I was thinking about how different my life would be if I were to do this (and in saying this, I mean to live with such a sense of urgency-- if I ran everywhere I'd not only set a bad example for all of the students at ICS but also it would be entirely weird). Frederick made me think about how much I'd love to live with such passion, enthusiasm and zeal at every moment during every day of my life.

And why should any of us lack the fervor of a 2 year old? Despite the daily grind, which often wears on our hopes and dreams, we have few other valid excuses. For, since everyone has a purpose, everyone also has a limited amount of time to accomplish it. God has given us work to do that is worth doing. He's also issued a deadline by which He needs it done.

My intent is definitely not to offer a message of doom and gloom. Instead, it's intended to be a realistic reminder that we have little time to waste when it comes to doing God's work. Each day, we receive the gift of 24 hours. What we do with those hours is our gift back to God.

St. Francis de Sales put it this way, "Every moment comes to us pregnant with a command from God, only to pass on and plunge into eternity there to remain forever what we have made it."

Of course, we need to recharge from time to time. We also need time to rest. Burnout can and does happen. To avoid it we must be smart in our work. Not everything can be accomplished in a day, week, year or even a lifetime. But, each day there is good work to be done. We need to do all we can to accomplish it.

As Catholic educators we truly have good work to do. It is work that is noble and even heavenly in that it deals with things not of this world. Our mission as Catholic educators is both to educate and evangelize. Even if our purpose was solely educating our students it would still deal with material that is heavenly: children. It is work worth doing. It is work that needs to be done. It is work that needs to be done today and every day. God is counting on us.

The alarm is ringing. The bell is chiming. It's time to get up, to get to school and to start working. If we had the sense of a two year old, we'd be running to get it done.

"There is only one thing to do here below: to love Jesus, to win souls for Him so that He may be loved. Let us seize with jealous care every last opportunity of self-sacrifice. Let us refuse Him nothing-- He does so want our love!"

-St. Therese of Lisieux