“Let us not be afraid to be truthful, to speak the truth, to hear the truth, to conform ourselves to the truth, so we can love.”
This week’s travels took me to Nashville for the first time. Given the ongoing saga in the rental car industry, I was limited to Ubers to get around and I had several hours to pass and lots of work to catch up on before a work event later that night. A colleague recommended a hip coffee spot named after its location "at Second and Bridge." She promised if I purchased enough caffeinated drinks that I would be in good company with many other remote workers setting up shop for the afternoon. I grabbed my first iced coffee, found a cool nook in the old, converted house and set up my office for the day.
Despite my best efforts to hunker down and focus, I found myself repeatedly distracted by the conversations and interactions of those around me in our tight quarters. There were two women drinking iced tea in front of me. One had a toddler and the other was expecting her first child any day. The conversation involved the two exchanging questions and advice on the journey of motherhood. When naptime arrived and the toddler mother left, the expectant mother called someone on her phone and complained about the interaction, confessing loudly that she would never follow her "friend’s" advice given her brief observation of her mothering. Startled by this complete reversal, I put my head down and returned to my work.
Soon after this, a man behind me decided to jump on a work zoom in which he effusively praised his team’s work on a specific project. Following the meeting’s end, he began another zoom with one of the people who was in the meeting, claiming that he couldn’t believe the (insert colorful words for cow dung) that he had just said in the meeting.
As I dove deeper into my silent, righteous judgment of the duplicity I observed, I stared back at my laptop monitor catching my own reflection. I couldn’t avoid the question in my head. If someone was filming me without me knowing over the course of the day, not only might it be creepy, but also how many cringe-worthy moments would be on that tape?
We always share the quote at CLI, "don’t tell me what you believe, let me watch for a week and I will tell you what you believe." Self-awareness is always difficult, but it’s so important to grow in holiness and healthiness. Can I press pause before I dive into hypocrisy? Whether I am just venting to a friend or simply trying to process out loud, can I take a step back and see myself from a distance or ask someone else to provide that perspective before falling into incongruence?
We may be able to fool ourselves with rationalization, but the Lord always has front row seats to the movie. What do we want Him to watch? Whether it’s at the corner of Second and Bridge or the intersection of the fullest extent of our baptismal call and where we find ourselves in any given moment, how do we want to meet our Lord and each other? Thankfully, the opportunity for confession preceded my event that evening, and I was again grateful for a God and Church that meets me where I am and invites me to be more. Prayers for all the intersections you will come to this week!
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