Being Present

There’s something about this time of year that makes me restless. I want to DO STUFF. I want to re-evaluate my life and make it shiny, and new, and fruitful. I want to REALLY live instead of going through the motions.

We are still in the Easter season and everything is greening up and the weather is getting warmer. If you know me, you know that I tend to be optimistic already, but these things only elevate my enthusiasm. I get ambitious.

While I have been busy at work lately, I still think that there is a hole in my life. We are all called to serve God in some way. We are all called to evangelize. And, to be honest, this hasn’t really been something that I was overly eager to do. What does it mean to evangelize anyway? I’m not really the type of person who would walk up to people and ask them if they had a relationship with Jesus. I’m not a preachy person. But proclaiming the Gospel is important. If it’s real and if it’s true, it’s the most important thing we could do with our lives, right?

With a combination of listening to Catholic Answers Live, following Fr. John and the Alpha team as they attend the Alpha conference in London this week, and thinking of different ways in which I can positively affect other peoples lives in light of the particular gifts God has given me, I came up with the idea of being available.

See, I love people and meeting new people and seeing new places. I like to help people and listen to their stories and pray for them and socialize. So, wouldn’t it be great to be able to hang out places and meet people and talk to them about things that are important and listen to them and pray with them and maybe answer some questions that they might have about the Catholic faith? It sounds great to me!

Without consulting anyone or letting them know what I’m up to (because maybe I’m a little impulsive like that), I set up a Facebook page for the project and decided that I’d start first thing in the morning.

God to Go #1
Starbucks in Troy
I didn’t have to be to work until a little later in the morning, so I planned on going to a local Starbucks for my first God to Go session. Let me just say, this Starbucks is really busy! There were 8 baristas on staff and there was still a continual line! I had grabbed a book by Dr. John Wood, “Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Mission,” to read in case no one stopped by my table. I hadn’t read it before, but it sounded like it might be speaking about what I am trying to accomplish with this project. I ordered a mocha (and forgot to order my scone) and took a table for 4 right by the front entrance. I did read some of the book, but most of my time was spent smiling at people coming and going. Most people were so intent on getting their coffee that they didn’t acknowledge that anyone else was present. There was a pair of women talking and the two tables on my wall were occupied with individual men absorbed in their electronics.
Book and Mocha
Sitting here this time really changed my perspective about other people. I have been guilty of seeing other people in places like Starbucks merely as obstacles to me getting what I want in a timely manner, and getting frustrated at them, merely by their presence. Being here *for* people makes me see them as fellow humans. They have hopes, dreams, and struggles just as I do. And my heart softened towards them. In my book, I read, “I want to love as God loves.” And I really do.

It also says that, “Not having ‘Catholic careers’ does not excuse us from being teachers of the faith.” I am not professionally Catholic. I am not consecrated to the religious life. (I *am* a grad student working on my Master’s in Theology, but I haven’t graduated yet…) My daily work doesn’t have anything to do with the Church. And yet it does. Just because I am dealing with other people.

Whatever I am doing, it is not enough. I don’t want to live an “adequate” life. I don’t want to live a “little” life. I want to make an impact. I want to know that I tried, I lived, and I loved. I want to live fully and passionately. And I want to serve others.

Perhaps my being present in this God to Go project isn’t a big thing. But maybe it will be. I trust that God will lead me if I let him. 🙂

So, please stop by! I’d love to see you!

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