“Last week, we got a desperate request from the parish to fill in as the "expert parent witness" for first-time parents preparing for Baptism. Faking humility outwardly, I responded, "Geez, I’m nothing special. Sure, I guess, if we’re your only option." Inwardly I thought to myself, "I’m going to crush this." My lack of real humility was rectified by a weekend that quickly went off the rails. A respiratory condition in our 2-year-old prioritized below a field hockey game for the 9-year-old unfortunately yielded a late-night ER visit on Saturday. Our presence at Mass the next day was only possible because of bribing one child with a goldfish and pumping another one with lollipops. As I collapsed in the pew, trying to think about what advice I might offer to new parents following Mass, my "expert witness" wasn’t feeling so expert.
In her opening comments, the Director of Religious Education shared with the new parents that holiness didn’t mean perfection, but rather seeking God especially in the messiness of life. It got me thinking, what really makes one an expert? In faith and leadership, does expertise come from authority or authenticity? If my knowledge lacks experience, is it wisdom? If my experience lacks the truth, is it real or just a projection? While my goldfish bribes and lollipops got a chuckle from the new parents, I hope I communicated that it wasn’t what I know or have done as a parent that has kept us going as a family. Rather, it’s the times when I’ve handed it all over to God and trusted His expertise over my own. Prayers for building your expertise this week!”