Sara: Recently, I learned that the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) is seeking nominations to find 30 under 30: Spotlighting Top Young Catholics. (See http://www.focus.org/blog/posts/30-under-30.html)
“In today’s culture, being in your 20’s means carefree living without any responsibilities or regrets,” they state. “As Catholics, we know we are made for more than comfort. We were made to make a difference, both on earth and in heaven.”
In a similar vein, Pope Francis stated in a May 4, 2013 address, “We are victims of a trend that pushes us to the provisional…. as though we wanted to stay adolescents. There is a little charm in staying adolescents, and this for life! Let us not be afraid of life commitments, commitments that take up and concern our entire life! In this way our life will be fruitful!”
I think FOCUS’ initiative is a really cool way to encourage us to live a purposeful life. As a single person, it was very easy for me to find reasons not to sacrifice for others. Dying to yourself can be so hard. Marriage has helped me overcome my selfishness. My commitment gives me a reason to sacrifice. It is still difficult, but being committed means that I often do not have a choice. My family moves me to action. My commitment to Gus demands a response when he cries in the middle of the night because he is teething. As I was telling Justin about FOCUS’ initiative, he joked I should nominate myself. After all, what can have greater impact than producing a new life?
I wasn’t sure how to respond, except with a laugh. Right now, I’m called to do small things with great love as I influence the lives of my family members. No one gives an award for staying up all night with my sick child, comforting Gus after he gets an “owie”, or folding the mountain of laundry that is threatening to take over my couch.
And that’s okay. A shiny plaque no longer holds the appeal it once did. The look on Gus’ face as he claps in happiness for an unexpected treat is better than a shiny plaque any day.
My calling is to teach Gus (and Justin) to know and love God with all their might. I’m called to make the little moments count – to say “yes” to going to the park, to making Justin his favorite food for dinner, and to reading Gus’ favorite book twenty times in a row. While small, these are tasks of monumental importance because it is through them that I will leave my legacy.