I take very seriously the Profession of Faith in the Liturgy of the Mass and believe everything it contains.
I also believe that living on this planet at this time is a divine appointment, an order signed by the hand of God. I must be about my Father’s business, so I’d better be clear on exactly what that is. It’s best not to disappoint the Boss. What will I do as my understanding deepens? Ah, therein we find the true drama of life!
I believe that following the Ten Commandments is a good start. Obedience out of fear may be a good way of getting my attention initially. Obedience out of capturing my heart is quite another and raises the standard far beyond the Ten.
I believe that tithing is also a good start. If the first 10 percent already belongs to God since He sends it all and specifically claims this portion as His, tithing is simple obedience. The real adventure in life is seeing how much I can give and on how little I can live.
I believe God rewards those who show a high return on His investment in them. His ledger works quite differently from the worldly kind. He is keenly aware of how much He’s getting in return for the love, people, resources and opportunities He provides to me.
I believe that God never goes back on His Word. The Word, of course, is Jesus Himself. Everything Jesus did, stood for, loved, hated, and held dear, I should imitate. Be crucified? Probably not. Accept unjust punishment and ridicule, i.e. die a little bit without complaint when I stand for what is right? You bet.
I believe that God gives us families to teach us how to love. Love lessons come sometimes in the strangest and most unexpected of circumstances. I need to be ready and paying attention at all times, because I just hate to miss the good stuff.
I believe that church families also teach us how to love, often in tender and quiet ways, through unassuming and humble acts of love, expecting no direct return. Because I occasionally participate in my wife’s Christian faith tradition, I’m blessed with two church families and feel deeply loved as a result.
I believe that God intended to have a single church to praise and worship and follow Him corporately. I believe He also knew that what He had ordained, humanity would manage to put asunder. I’m blessed to be in one of the believers and see the value of how various groups translate their worship into the practice of loving God and His children. I’m grateful when we as believers focus on loving and giving and rise above the pettiness of human differences that perpetuate division rather than unity.
I believe that God is moving mightily among His faithful in the workplace. I’m grateful to be among those who work with the primary purpose of glorifying and following God.
I believe God sends grace and mercy far beyond what I deserve, simply because His ways are not my ways. He does it because He loves me and because He can.
I believe God guides along the way, outside of His written Word, sometimes with loving encouragement, at others with stern admonishing and still others with everything in between. The less I argue and resist and the more I remain quiet and pay close attention, the more of His messages I tend to receive.
I believe that I’m blessed in many ways. Therefore I need to remember and live out the words of Mother Teresa: “I am a little pencil in the hands of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”
John Carroll is president of Unlimited Performance, Inc. in Mount Pleasant. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.