(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 3 January 2018)
Let us remember that we are in the Holy Presence of a Loving God.
At this time of year we often reflect on the past year and plan for the coming year. We make resolutions to improve – lose weight, improve relationships, work harder to earn better grades, and more. Yet our resolutions are often forgotten in the hectic pace of maintaining our existing lives. Our intentions are pure but good intentions not acted upon have no long-term effect in our lives.
2018 can be our best year ever OR it can be a year of mediocrity and regret. The world is not a beacon of caring and kindness today. Praise and encouragement are in short supply not only in our daily lives at school but in our homes and our communities. People do a lot of things right. Validating others’ efforts and accomplishments costs us a few words and a few minutes and makes a tremendous positive impact on others. Demeaning, discounting, or dismissing others does not build a strong community nor does it build trust and respect among our fellow Lasallians.
Each of us has the opportunity for a fresh start right now. How are you going to take advantage of this opportunity? I’ve got some ideas, some suggestions. First, ground yourself in well-being and service. You can’t be of service to anyone without feeling vibrant and strong. Fuel your best self with healthy food. Lean proteins, fruits and vegetables at every meal can help build your physical, emotional and spiritual health. Make service to others your priority. Clarify your servant purpose writing down how your actions and decisions improve others’ quality of life. Write down your values, the principles you hold dear and add behaviors that insure that when you demonstrate those behaviors you’re living your service values.
Second, surround yourself with those who support your purpose and values and challenge you to align to them every day. We need a community of values with aligned people who share our values, who struggle along with us to live our purpose, and who call us on our mistakes when we miss the mark.
Third, invest time and energy every day in service and grace. Defining your purpose and values is one thing, but acting on them daily is a bit harder. Don’t just look for opportunities to serve, act on them. Engage with others. Praise their aligned behaviors. Give credit. Validate efforts. Thank people every day.
The amazing thing about demonstrating service to others is that our own needs become secondary but are often fulfilled because our actions to serve others brings us peace and significance.
Our opportunities for a fresh start come around not just once a year but every single morning. How will you serve others with grace today?
Adapted from: S. Chris Edmonds – Speaker, Author, Executive Consultant
Let us Pray:
You are Christian only so long as you look forward to a new world, so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the community you live in, so long as you emphasize the need of conversion both for yourself and for the world, so long as you in no way let yourself become established in a situation of seeming calm, so long as you stay unsatisfied with the status quo and keep saying that a new world is yet to come. You are Christian only when you believe that you have a role to play in the realization of this new reality, and when you urge everyone you meet with a holy unrest to make haste so that the promise might soon be fulfilled. So long as you live as a Christian you keep looking for a new order, a new structure, a new life. Happy New Year!
Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.