By Cory J. Howat
I have to admit that I drive the fastest on Interstate when we pass an IKEA store on a family trip. I cringe at the thought of putting together another wildly named Scandinavian-influenced BEKKESTUA Bedroom set. Their assembly instructions are as hard to follow as the pronunciation of their pieces. Luckily, New Orleans does not have these patience-absorbing big box furniture stores, yet. I was reminded this past weekend about my IKEA-esque patience challenges while embarking on a DIY (sort of) home outdoor shed project. My wife and I decided that an outdoor shed was needed for our growing family to gain space indoors. We knew the summer was the time to make that shed a reality.
I can handle most of the minor construction stuff but always looked for help from my dad, brothers or friends. I simply enjoy doing projects together and know that detailed and tedious work is a place that I can grow. *Cue the former blog on gardening* So, the shed building started moving along nicely, mainly because I was the 3rd string assistant on the project. As I was shuttling sheets of plywood to the backyard, I began to think about the importance of building and planning in our spiritual lives also. Hang with me here as I know my construction credibility is low…
I knew that I could not build a shed without the proper planning or savings. I needed the vision of what I wanted it to look like. I needed planning to have all the pieces ready for our build day. Then, I needed the patience to build and finish the project. Our spiritual lives mirror the same journey in many ways. I invite you to take some time to reflect and ask yourself:What is your vision for how you can live as a disciple of Jesus Christ? What does that look like to you? Does that mean you are a joyous person? Generous? Prayer-filled? What are the steps you can start working on to achieve this goal? Are you willing to commit to a little more quiet prayer time? Lastly, do you desire the patience needed to let God work on the project that is you? The summer is a prime opportunity to take an inventory of where you are mid-year and where you are going.
I am convinced more each day that God reveals His plan for our life in our everyday activities and work. We just have to be aware and listen. I could have just seen this weekend as just for building a shed in my yard. Instead, I intentionally challenged myself to try and think of what God has planned for me and what He wants to build with my life. I sometimes foolishly fight that plan, but I can rely on God to bring me around if I can only keep open my heart to His will for my life. My prayer is that you take some summer downtime to reflect and pray for God to reveal His plans for your life. I know HIS plan is marvelous and unique for each of us, just as God promised in scripture. Enjoy the last days of summer knowing that God has great plans for you in the days ahead… more glorious,I can promise, than my shed!
Cory J. Howat is the Director of Stewardship for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. His love for traveling, culture and adventure provide a unique perspective on life and the universal Church. For more about this blogger, click here.