Excellence in anything spurs excellence in everything.
There's a beautiful moment in the movie Cars when the townsfolk of Radiator Springs focus on sprucing up their respective establishments as Lightning McQueen finally starts to fix the road he destroyed. They clean, paint, polish and refresh their tired town and restore it to a glimpse of its former glory.
Over the past few weeks, the following two posts merited a full read after appearing in my inbox and reminded me of the scene above from Cars.
The first, a blog post from Dr. Christian Dallavis, zeroed in on the zeal needed to be an effective leader within Catholic education:
The second came from Jared Dees, the man behind The Religion Teacher, an on-line religious education resource. In it, Jared shares his vision for how teachers, catechists, youth ministers, and anyone involved in Catholic education can be effective:
In both cases, the pursuit of excellence was a common theme. To merit the term "Catholic" in the names of our organizations, our schools must intensely strive after excellence in education in the Catholic faith.
Imagine a school that unabashedly puts Christ first. Imagine a school that focuses on excellence in Catholic education - ministry, faith development, service opportunities, retreats, catechesis, witness, evangelization - and how excellence in every other aspect would follow.
Imagine a school that had the shameless audacity to truly inspire disciples of Christ. Imagine a school where the ministers of Catholic education had the reckless abandon to sing at Mass, attend prayer every morning, witness to one another about their "why", and rally around a common mission of being Incarnational to our students, families, each other and our community.
It's a school that would, very simply, change the world.
Continue to become the best versions of yourselves. Continue to fight against the temptation to believe that you're not good enough, you're all alone, and that no one cares.
Strive for excellence in all that you do, but especially your faith.
Be unabashedly, shamelessly and recklessly bold for Him. Get fierce in your battle of prayer.
Fight for joy.