I saw this adorable little boy at the fair last week. His mom and grandma told me he couldn’t stop talking about all the animals. It was apparent that he was having a good time being at the fair but he stood on the edge of the pavement farthest away from the barn. I was trying to invite him closer so I could let him pet Shannon’s steer but he just gripped grandma’s hand tightly and shook his head. His mom gave me the scoop and said he liked all the animals but he was not about to go anywhere near one. I guess we could call him a distant admirer! We all shared a laugh and they headed off to see the chickens and rabbits hoping they wouldn’t be as intimidating for the little guy.
As I thought about this little boy throughout the day I realized sometimes we behave exactly the same way in our Christian walk! We say we like it, we act interested, we want to be a part of it but are we willing to go all in and walk up close enough to completely embrace it? The little guy was genuinely afraid and overwhelmed. He was sure his spot across the pavement was good enough but I wondered how much more he would have enjoyed his day at the fair if he’d been able to run his little fingers through fluffy fur, feel the velvety softness of a horse’s nose or get close enough to touch a pig’s curly tail. His experience could have been so much richer…if he had been ready. The whole situation is pretty understandable since he was so young but how about us? He wasn’t ready…are we?
There is a big difference between being a Catholic and living as a Catholic. Living the faith takes a lot more courage and intention than simply professing it but the rewards are so much richer! I wonder what keeps us from diving in completely. Are we afraid of what we might have to change? Are we worried about what others might think or say? Are we unwilling to set aside the time to pray, worship and fully embrace the magnificence of the Sacraments? Or are we like the little boy at the fair…just overwhelmed and not ready to take that first big step.
Here is the really good news; all we have to do is make the decision and take the first step. It all starts with our heart…invite Jesus in and ask him to be in charge of every detail of your day and he will do the rest. If you’re like that little boy clear across the pavement, take the first step and he will come the rest of the way to you. That little guy would have had more fun at the fair if he had gone all in and the same can be said for us…life would be so much richer, blessed and fun if we would just go all in.
A Seed To Plant: Make a list of the things that keep you from going all in then pray over that list and ask God to show you how to navigate around those obstacles so you can get closer.
Blessings on your day!
Copyright 2014, Sheri Wohlfert
About the Author
Sheri is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker and teacher. She uses her great sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Her roots are in Kansas but her home is in Michigan. The mission of her ministry is to encourage others to look at the simple ways we can all find God doing amazing things smack dab in the middle of the laundry, ball games, farm chores and the hundred other things we manage to cram into a day. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.