By Megan Lowes
In last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus says “no one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
This Gospel reminds me of the importance of setting my priorities and how much of a challenge it can be at times. As someone who likes to be busy, I have many interests that I like to explore. However, there is a difference in being busy because I like to do things and being busy for the sake of going after my passions.
When I was in grade school, I would have busy summers. I remember my mom going through the family calendar and it would be marked up with everywhere I needed to be throughout the week: Swimming lessons, violin lessons, tennis lessons, ice skating lessons, softball games and volunteering at the library. I was busy, but I loved it! It made me happy to have my hand in so many different things, especially since I did not have many friends growing up. Thankfully, my mom was supportive of my busy schedule and was willing to drive me around all over town to my different engagements.
When I reached high school, I found myself just as busy, if not busier.
During the school year, I would be running from one club meeting during lunch to another, barely having any time to eat, let alone get into what was occurring within the group that day. It got to the point during my senior year of high school where I was involved with so many clubs that I found myself giving each about 15 minutes to be present at, just to be sure I would make it to every meeting. I did this for most of my senior year even though I found myself getting tired and bored from the running around. To this day, I would not even be able to tell you what clubs I was involved with in high school. All I can remember is how much fun I would have with friends on the days in which I did not have any meetings scheduled or decided to skip the running around.
Fast forwarding to college, I did not seem to take my experiences with being so busy in high school with clubs so seriously. In college, I was a double major with one minor in school, I worked two part-time jobs, at one point I was the president of 5 organizations in the school and I tried to do every service project that I could get my hands on. For the most part these were things that enjoyed doing, yet I felt exhausted, and had a challenging time maintaining decent grades in school.
It was a period of my life were I felt lost and had trouble discovering my passion.
My “tight” schedule in college even carried over to my first professional job, as I worked 60-70 hours a week in addition to attending graduate school. I was so busy I forgot how to live. I lost sight of making myself happy, as well as doing God’s will. My busy schedule hurt myself, my family, my friends and my relationship with God.
I realized that in order for things in my life to change, I had to make some difficult decisions. I have since found more balance in my life through changing jobs to a position that is not as time consuming. I am still in school, however it is part-time and I am able to do it in my home where I am surround by my family. I have been able to find healing and restoration with my relationships with my family, friends, and God.
I am the happiest that I have been in years.
Whenever I am discerning whether to say “yes” to something, even if it is a minimal commitment, I ask myself these questions:
- Is this something I am truly passionate about and going to give me energy?
- How is this going to affect my relationship with my family, friends and others who are important to me?
- Is this something I can use to build up God’s kingdom?
Prayers you to all as we journey in to another 40 days of dying and rising with Jesus this Lenten season.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan is a 2009 graduate of Saint Joseph Academy. After graduating from SJA, she attended John Carroll University and earned her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in May 2013. Since graduating from John Carroll, Megan has spent the last three years working within ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland. Since October 2015, she has served as the Pastoral Associate at Saint Clarence Parish in North Olmsted. Additionally, Megan completed her Masters of Nonprofit Administration in May 2016 from John Carroll University. In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time with family and friends, doing arts and crafts, exercising and spending time in nature.