In the two years since, I have had to rely on my faith in many and various ways. As a new principal of a Catholic School, I have prayed heavily for the strength to remain focused on and committed to our school's mission of inspiring life-long learners, challenging each individual in the school community to become a disciple of Christ and striving to live out our Catholic faith through service. Distractions from this mission abound, especially as the leader of the organization. Complaints, unexpected hiccups, emergencies and the ebb and flow of working with people and for people wear on our ability to stay committed to an idealistic vision.
The fact that we're building a cathedral can get lost when we're digging a ditch. The process itself can be dirty, frustrating and difficult. Staying dedicated to our mission requires staying dedicated to Jesus.
As a new father, I have been confused more frequently than I've been certain. Having a newborn and being entrusted with her care and nurturing and not having any worthwhile experience as to how to successfully do this has caused me to pray for the Lord's strength and direction. Being a father has led me to a deeper appreciation for the love that God, our Heavenly Father, has for me. It has challenged me to love more deeply and unconditionally. It has inspired me to love more. I am currently praying for the strength, wisdom and guidance to be the father of two...
St. Joseph has been the recipient of many of my prayers over the past two years. A statue of Jesus's earthly father is in the back of our church (as the Church of the Incarnation, there is one of Mary, too). Many days I will sneak away from the office, into the vacant church, and kneel before this model of self-sacrifice, humility and hard work. On countless occasions I have prayed to St. Joseph that he help me to lead not only my school community but also my family. I would like to believe that these prayers have not been made in vain.
Moriah Peters, an up and coming Christian music artist who tried out for American Idol (and was told by the judges to go and make some mistakes, kiss some boys, and come back in a few years when she's grown up and more worldly), sings in her song Well Done, "If people walk with me, talk with me, looking for truth / They're gonna find out soon / If they're following me then / They're gonna follow You."
I pray for guidance, Lord. I pray for strength. I pray for wisdom. I pray for patience, compassion, mercy, and peace. I pray that you lead me, Lord, so that I may lead others - Incarnation Catholic School, my wife, my daughter, my future son / daughter, readers of this blog, anyone with whom I come in contact - to you.
Lead me, Lord. Lead me.