We are blessed with an abundance of amazing volunteers in our apostolate. The members of our Audit Committee are exemplary. To a one, they are committed, ridiculously smart, and very collaborative. Yet as grateful and dependent as I am on their service, I think I might be allergic to their subject matter. “Accrual accounting”…cough. “Present value”…sneeze, sneeze. “Deferred revenue”…I’m feeling feverish. History majors of the world, are you out there? At our last meeting, we completed our “annual risk assessment,” where we proactively review a checklist of potential risks and evaluate their likelihood and impact. While our CFO Ginny and the committee members were almost giddy about getting to embark on the activity, it gave me the chills. Thinking about all the different possible ways things could go wrong felt heavy, especially sitting in the CEO chair.
Later in the day, as I debriefed the meeting with Ginny, I joked that maybe I would skip next year’s assessment exercise to allow more fun for them. Ginny’s thoughtful response stayed with me. “Dan, we don’t discuss risk to stop us from moving forward. We do it so that we know how to move forward.” How often do I complete a risk assessment of my own discipleship? Thankfully, I have the Sacrament of Reconciliation to ask forgiveness for the times in which I fail to live up to God’s plan for me. But, how often in my day or week, do I take time to stop, “open my heart to His voice,” and think ahead about the temptations and distractions that may lie in front of me so that I might determine a plan to help avoid failing in the first place? Am I surrounding myself with a “Discipleship Audit Committee” like CLI’s – people in my life who care about me, who will tell me the truth about the implications of my actions, people who want me to move forward in the best way possible? If I want to do better in discipleship than I did in Accounting 101, something tells me one of my biggest risks may be my attitude about risk.