Imperfect follower

If you’re anything like most humans, even if you’re talented at something and called to do it for the good of the world, you were unlikely immediately amazing at it.

This is true for our faith life too. Following Jesus is, in a way, like a craft.  And this video reflection reminded me of that:

As far as discipleship goes, I am so far from being an expert. I am even further from mastery and perfection.

That’s why many of us who are religious speak about our prayer “practice” or ministry “practice” and so on. We realize we won’t start off with an expert status, and even a lifetime of this work will not perfect us.  We have to persevere and remember that we really are a work in progress.

I am just finishing an online class about the theology and practice of ministry.  The class has helped me feel assured that I am OK at the ministry of teaching after all. What makes me OK at it, apparently, is that I am open to learning and growing, can communicate well, and  am somewhat knowledgeable.  According to this book that we read in the class, those are the main charisms (gifts from the Holy Spirit) needed for teaching. This gives me hope!

I used to feel really insecure about how I lived my faith and how I ministered. I often felt like I would fall short, and I still frequently do. I know that I could always do better.

Recently my students were working on their contributions to the city-wide Compassion Project.  During our discussion about the components of compassion, I was reminded of something I need to keep in mind: I must be patient with myself as well as with others. We really do learn as we go, don’t we? This is one of the reason forgiveness is such an important part of our Christian life. Certainly our main motive guides us: we want to love as God loves. 

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

Yes, I am learning. I think I get it now. I must be patient with myself and keep persevering. For I am in God hands. Evidently,  in order to becoming the loving woman who God made me to be,  it will take a while and this is quite OK. I just hope I can remember this most of the time. Even if I forget, the good news is that with God I’ll have some more chances to try again! 

Whew. What a relief! 

2 thoughts on “Imperfect follower

  1. I love the video and definitely think it has some cool applications to our faith life. As we grow in virtue it becomes easier to make a virtuous choice and grow in holiness. Also as we grow in holiness we see how much further we have to go. Maybe the best way that faith is different from art is that God is not an art critic. God does not send rejection letters when we are in that gap between our desire for intimacy with God and kingdom living and our clumsy attempts at every day life. To God on the path of holiness we are beloved and perfect each step of the way.

    • Right, and for me many of the “clumsy attempts at every day life” are about how I try to stay devoted to the work of creativity that God calls me to. God calls me to write for a public audience, and helps me through it, but it’s because I keep cooperating and saying yes that I am able to grow. I am guided by my taste too for God too. So, the earlier things I wrote were OK for then, but it’s only because I keep going and keep creating that the things I produce are starting to match the great Taste that God has given me for quality, Christ-centred work.

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