My big task over Thanksgiving was to refinish a piece of furniture to match a space in our new house. At the urging of my smarter half, I reluctantly watched a video about how to approach the project. Unfortunately, I decided that with four kids in the house and limited days off, I didn’t have the luxury of heeding the wise words of many YouTube experts on how to strip off old paint and add a primer. So, I jumped right in, aggressively slapping on a layer of "Fresh Artichoke" to my piece. Several coats would have the same effect, right? Wrong. "Fresh Artichoke" didn’t look so fresh, even after the third coat. In between layers of frustration, I attended Mass. The priest asked us three questions - "Do you already feel like you’re running this Advent? Have you readied yourself for the race? Do you know what the real finish line is?" I realized that I had not only thrown myself into this DIY project without a moment’s thought, but I had also thrown myself into Advent without any primer.
In CLI’s leadership curriculum, the first practice of any good leader is to prepare - to stop, to reflect, and to think about how you are coming to a moment. Then, ask for God to bless you and guide you. Thankfully, the Church gives a whole season to prepare for Christ’s coming. Let’s hope my race turns out better than my china closet.