By Matt McDonald
I’m a coffee addict. I’ll start my day with a cup of hot coffee. I’ll then gladly take some iced coffee on a warm summer day. But when a cup is sitting on my desk for over an hour and it’s not hot, but not cold--no thanks. There is nothing worse than lukewarm coffee.
It’s just… there.
Despite this, I’ve found that I used to, and at times still do, live my life lukewarm. By this I mean I do my best to blend in with the crowd, not being the rebel, but not being the leader. My friend is the one who takes his shirt off screaming at an Indians game. I’m the one that sits back. This same way of living goes along with my faith. I’ve never been the person who stands outside an abortion clinic saying a rosary for the unborn. For so long, you would never find me praying before a meal when I went out to eat.
It’s not that I was ashamed of my faith
or that I didn’t believe, it’s just that I didn’t want to draw attention. I’d much rather blend into the background and not make enemies. Although I’ve changed, I still find myself doing this in some ways, especially lately. Society is all about accepting everyone, never challenging, never disagreeing, only making peace. We live in a world of relativism, where as long as you don’t physically hurt me, there is no wrong. And in comes Jesus with a blowtorch.
“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! … Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”
I’ve found living your faith out loud has two effects on people. It draws them closer to you or pushes them away. Despite my attempt to fly under the radar with my faith, I’ve learned that staying true to my beliefs is going to cause some sparks in relationships. For example, me thinking that my faith won't affect my dating life. No matter what I’m doing on Sunday morning, what I’m doing late on a Friday night, or an array of other things, my faith and my beliefs change how I live. Because of that, my faith leads to discussions, and with some individuals, causes a problem.
My faith has caused more than one argument, broken up relationships, and prevented new relationships from starting in my life.
St. Catherine of Sienna said “If you are what you’re meant to be, you’ll set the world on fire” Jesus wants to change the world by first changing me and then using me. I’ve come to realize this and I want to be that person that makes a difference. I want to live life.
Just as lukewarm coffee leaves me less than satisfied, so does lukewarm living.
But striving to become fully alive is uncomfortable. It's about making yourself vulnerable--I won't always have control. Because of this, I've found my prayer lately to be quite simple: “Lord, make me the man you want me to be.” I need His help, I need Him to light a fire in me, to change me.
There’s lyrics to one of my favorite songs that go “we may not be around in 20 years but they're sure gonna know we were here” When I’m gone, will people know that I was here? Does my presence make a difference in this world? Am I setting the world on fire?
I hope so.
Okay, it’s time to heat up my coffee, this cup has sat here for too long. Nothing worse than lukewarm coffee. Know what I mean?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt is currently the Director of Finance and Operations at St. Adalbert Catholic Church in Berea, Ohio while attending Notre Dame College of Ohio for Business Administration. Throughout this time, he’s enjoyed volunteering in various high school youth ministry programs. His loves are coffee, craft beer, reading when time allows, and spending time with family and friends. His time with teens and love of art have taught him the need to look at people and things in life from another angle than what is first seen.