By Daniel J. Cellucci
Part 29 in a weekly series
I like to get things done. I love making lists and, even more than making lists, I love crossing things off those lists. I have no problem admitting that on occasion I even add things to a list simply to be able to cross them off later.
I like feeling productive and responsive. With three small children, I like occasionally remembering what it feels like to be organized and “on top of things.” Plain and simple, I like to “do.”
That being said, I’m not that great at “being.” It’s hard for me to take a step back, consider the moment I’m in and appreciate the present.
I never thought that was much of a problem until I heard a presentation from a great priest. Father spoke about the proper order of our lives. He spoke about how we tend to define ourselves by what we do rather than who we are, and much more importantly from his point of view, “whose” we are. We are sons and daughters of God, he explained, and that essential fact must primarily define who we understand ourselves to be as well as what we do.
I am always in awe of the people who seem to have mastered keeping this beautiful reality at the top of their mind. They have a peace and centeredness that is unshakeable. Where did that come from? How do they stay that way despite all of the stress and challenge in our daily lives?
In the presentation that I mentioned, the priest offered that in order to keep that primary focus on our relationship with God we must do what we do with other important relationships in our lives — we must stay in touch. A persistent and consistent prayer life must be at the top of our to-do list and not something we just fit in when we can.
I remember in one of my performance reviews at work, someone shared the feedback, “Dan is very good at doing, his next opportunity is to be able to teach others how to do.”
As a disciple, I have a lifetime of work ahead of me to not only place God at the center of my life but to keep him there throughout the days. What I need to help me do that — and to help me help my children to do that — are good teachers. Those who have excelled at the art of being in a deep relationship with our Lord and through their witness and their accompaniment can help me do the same.
One of the things that I love most about our faith is that, regardless of where we are in our Catholic journey, there is always a next step. We are never done growing, and as Catholics we believe it’s essential to grow together.
Cellucci is lead consultant for On Mission for The Church Alive! and senior vice president of the Catholic Leadership Institute, a national nonprofit apostolate focused on supporting bishops, priests and lay leaders with leadership development and consulting services. Follow On Mission for The Church Alive on Twitter at @PghChurchAlive. Have something to share about how your parish is On Mission? Use the hashtags #ChurchAlive and #OnMissionPgh.