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I know your "buts"…

In my line of work I get to hear a lot of "buts." I would give more money, but                             , I would take the go to Mass, but                       , I would serve on that committee, but                          , I would lector, but                              . Sound familiar? I have heard more "buts" than I could ever have imagined. What I think is happening though, is people are justifying behaviors with excuses. Either a priest wounded someone with a decision, money is being

spent contrary to how someone thinks it should be spent, an influx of new families is making another uncomfortable, a parishioner is ticked at another parishioner, we don't have a youth program, the Bishop did this or that; the list goes on and on. My question is, when are we going to quit justifying our behaviors and accept what is? God never asked us to like everything, rather, to accept. In many cases, we cannot change what is happening and we certainly cannot change the past. Yet I have had conversations with people who are carrying their "buts" around for decades. I personally am not that strong. I do not have enough strength to carry my "buts" around very long.

Stewardship as a way of life revolves around the idea that we are to do what God asks. For example, I do not always like going to adoration at 12:00 a.m. Monday morning, however, I think God has called me to that and the experience is always uplifting. I have a love affair with farming. If I had chosen that area for work it would have been disastrous. God is not calling me to agriculture, rather, to ministry a much better fit. I now farm carpet with my kids. My wife and I are as busy as all families, by answering God's call we do not feel time stressed like so many do. We could do more however, stewarding our time and our children's time keeps our family in balance. We are slowly losing our "buts.

Here are four steps to start letting go and letting God. First, if you have been wounded or something aggravates you in your church, begin giving whatever it is away. You too are not strong enough to carry your “buts” around. If you don't give those burdens away you will die spiritually. Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22. Second, participate in activities that are life giving. If you participate in an activity just because no one else will and resent it, you have the wrong motivation. Third, do not be afraid to try something new. What is the worst that can happen? You don't like it and do something else? Fourth, parents absolutely have to steward children's time. For the Gen X group, our kids are the center of our families and have schedules that rival CEOs of major corporations. Parents can and should say no. Practice stewardship of time and bring balance to your family.
There are no magic pills living a stewardship life. Living a steward’s life is a journey and all journeys begin with a first step. Take the first step and lose your "buts."

Professionally edited by: Courtney Rankin
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