Monday, September 1, 2014

GO: Simplify

GO: Simplify
A recurring message that I feel God is sending me is to simplify. From my motivations as a principal to my efforts with my family, I feel that God has challenged me over the past few months to "get back to basics".

Yesterday's Gospel offered me another form of the same message - what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul? What are my motives for doing what I do? 

Gospel MT 16:21-27

Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised. 
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” 
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. 
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me. 
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? 
Or what can one give in exchange for his life? 
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
As teachers we are burdened with so many tasks, and many of those have little to do with the actual process of education. Furthermore, we so easily get caught up in maintaining control, winning an argument, saving face in front of a colleague / parent / student. We take ownership of our rooms, classes and students in a way that sometimes blind us to accepting advice, making changes, or admitting failure / a need for help. 
Remain true and committed to our internal motivations, our mission and our God. Allow ourselves and our efforts to be transformed by Him. 
Paul writes in his letter to the Romans (from the 2nd reading):

Reading 2 ROM 12:1-2

Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.
Offer ourselves as a sacrifice. See our work as prayer. Simplify our busyness so as to focus on what's most important - educating our students in the Catholic faith while also educating them in all of the other subjects. If we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will keep multiplying the effects of our efforts. 
Simply, make them better; make them smarter. Do these two things and it will be more than enough because it will be what He wants us to do. 
Do less, but do it so AMAZINGly well so that He can do more. 
GO: Simplify.