Thursday, March 15, 2018

Preparing for Challenges

Resolutions are easily made, ignored and forgotten. A professor writing for a diocesan bulletin gives the readers the 'challenge of twenty': selected are 20 small targets to accomplish. Examples: for three days they will not use any disposable cups; not use an elevator for a week; not use a handphone when talking to a friend. These are examples of the kind of resolutions that are goals for the '20'.

No big targets but done with great earnestness and sincerity. Accomplished with little effort but leaving one with a feeling of achievement. When the person finishes the 20, not only does he have confidence but in addition has the beginning of new habits.

A challenge usually is something not small and present but big and far away. The goal is beautiful and attractive but problems are the many obstacles between us and the goal. Problems are the weakness of our will and laziness. The small challenges we choose and accomplish will lead the way to the bigger ones in the future.

We are now in the season of Lent. Most of us have made resolutions and are trying to live the Paschal mystery. When we fail we blame ourselves. How about making the following some of the challenges for the last weeks of Lent. To pray for your neigbors  for three days; next time you go to Mass be the first one there and the last one to leave; learn the words of one hymn and their meaning....

Scientists can give us a slew of reasons for what happens to our brains physically when we have some small success. We have a feeling of pleasure, and a desire to see it continued. Many go through life without attaining any goals and miss out on the natural joy that should be a part of a normal life. Achieving small goals in the way our writer explained is a way to remain motivated; a God-given, very natural method of practicing the virtues with which we are familiar.

Virtue is a trait or quality that has become part of us, an habitual act. The Chinese character for virtue has an icon for body, mind, and heart that makes up the character: all areas we attempt to put under the control of the will. 'The challenge of 20' is a good way to prepare ourselves for the difficulties faced in life.

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