As you know, I’m a sports fan. This time of year, that means basketball. It means wrestling, too, and I also enjoy that. The thing is, though, that wrestling is usually only once a week, maybe twice. Between boys and girls basketball, there are games two or three nights a week. When you consider there are two school systems within our parish, there are times when I go to basketball games four or five times a week.
It’s funny how high school sports seasons work. They pack a lot of games into a short period of time. It seems like you spend two or three months doing nothing but running around going to games, and then, all at once, it’s over. It seems like they should be able to spread it out a little more, have fewer games covering a longer period of time, but that’s not how it works.
It’s not how it works because as soon as one sports season ends, another begins, usually more than one. As soon as basketball is over, it’ll be time for track and golf. As soon as those are over, it’ll be time for baseball and softball. Once those are done, it’ll be time for football and volleyball and cross-country. After that, it’s time for basketball and wrestling again. And the chances are, I forgot about a couple of other sports that are squeezed in there someplace.
It seems to me that life can be like that, too. There’s always something going on. As soon as one thing ends, another thing comes along to take its place.
That’s okay. In fact, in some ways, it’s good. On the other hand, it can make life awfully busy. We can spend a lot of time going from one thing to another to another.
There’s nothing wrong with being active, of course. I find it far preferable to sitting around wondering what to do. Our parish is an active parish, and I think that’s a good thing. As I’ve written before, an active church is an attractive church. No one would want to join a church or any other organization that never did anything.
Still, we do need to be careful sometimes. It can be easy to confuse activity with accomplishment. A dog chasing its tail is active, but it’s not getting much accomplished. We want our parish to be active, but we don’t want to be chasing our tails.
On February 13, it will be Ash Wednesday. Then, we’ll enter the period of Lent. Lent is a time for reflection. I’d like to suggest that one of the things we reflect on during Lent this year is: how can we best accomplish things for God? What are the best ways we can use our time, our talents, our interests, and our abilities to serve God? It’s a question that applies to us as individuals, to our individual churches, and to our parish as a whole.
It’s a question that can have a lot of different answers. It may mean starting some new things. It may be expanding some things we’re already doing. It may even mean letting go of some things that we’ve been doing for a while, not because those things are bad things, but because they are no longer the best ways we can serve God.
We want and need to be an active church, but we don’t want or need to be chasing our tails. This Lenten season, let’s reflect on how we can work together to do what’s best. Let’s figure out ways to not just be active, but to accomplish things for God.