Last week when I met Fr. Adam who plans to start a new parish in Las Vegas. I gave him some “fatherly advice.” Make connections. They are the key to happiness and your success as shepherd in your new faith community.
I always tell my patients connections are the key to managing stressors in life. While getting a leaky truck repaired, the dealership had someone drive me home. My driver was a retired military veteran who worked as a firefighter. I shared that my fire extinguishers needed to be inspected and he gave me the name of someone who inspected all the dealership fire equipment. I shared that I was able to get several grants for my local fire department to upgrade equipment. Didn’t he share that he reviewed fire department grants for FEMA. Another helpful connection that goes on my “building team” file. Oh yes, I have a list of contacts with 1600 names of builders, carpenters, tractor repair the list goes on. Most important is the person who is listed at the top.
Back to my new connection for fire extinguishers. Jim has been in this business for three decades. I have my five fire extinguishers ready for him to test and evaluate for their readiness. He gives me a quick review lesson on how to use if needed properly. I like this connection a lot. Tells me where to place in the home and suggest we add one more for the garage where the lawn mower and tractor fuel are housed. Makes sense. I go back to my “building team” file and add a new category “fire extinguisher.” and our new connection Jim is list as #1.
Who are your connections that you value in life? Brad is my #1 builder, Jeff my #1 tractor repairman, Russ my #1 doctor, Tim is my #1 bread baker, Dave my #1 internet installer, Dick my #1 farmer, Louis, my #1 computer guru. Oh yes, the dryer after 11 years is making strange sounds so a appliance repairman is showing up tomorrow. I pray this person becomes my #1 appliance repair person. And when things really fall apart, like when my body sputters and rattles, I call on Our Lord, for He’s my #1 healer of a troubled body, mind and soul.
And then Jesus starts this discourse about food, and He says, "Do not labor for the food that perishes but for the food which endures to eternal life." And He talks about how He has come to bring them this lasting bread, this lasting food, this food that doesn't lead to more and more hunger.
Was there a situation you were dealing with where you thought, "I need Jesus' advice? I need Jesus' counsel. I need His wisdom"? Did you seek Him out for that? Or when's the last time you just sought Him out just to spend time with Him just like you do a great friend? The people were seeking Jesus. They were looking for him. The people said, "Lord, give us this bread always. We want this bread all the time, Jesus. Give us this bread." And then Jesus says, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst." Were the people satisfied? No. Because they were looking for the passing. Jesus was trying to call them into the lasting. What's it about?
It’s like Jim, my fire extinguisher expert, showing me how to hold the fire extinguisher if God forbid there is a fire to put out. You point at the base of the fire. It’s like Jesus giving us advice that will satisfy our yearning for the truth on helping us to become all God created us to be. God places these yearnings within us. They draw us down a path that He wants to draw us along. And so, we're being invited to take off our limited worldly mind and to put on the mind of God and ask ourselves, "Okay. How does God want me to deal with these yearnings that are naturally a part of my life?”
Lord, I pray for all my Sonshine Friends that they seek lasting food that comes from the wisdom and counsel of God. May we seek lasting and not passing answers to deal with the yearnings that are a call to be the best spouse, the best parent, the best parishioner and the best friend that we can be. By the way, Dan is my new #1 dryer repairman.
PS I am still searching for a connection to help me use our enchanted forest with a purpose for education. Any leads from your college or organization would be greatly appreciated. Have your connection email me at drmattkawiak@gmail;.com