I had a few topics in mind for this week’s blog, but during mass today at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fr. Antonio shared a story that resonated with me.
He discussed the time when he was assigned to lead his first parish after successfully completing seminary training, which is a comprehensive training program that includes studying the Bible, theology, Church history, biblical languages, leadership, and administration.
Even after this extensive study period, he mentioned that he was “ready but not prepared.” As he noted during the homily, “Every parish is unique, and it is important I make the necessary adjustments and learn the culture.”
Fr. Antonio also noted that even now, after more than 5 years at our parish, he must prepare for his next assignment. The years of experience are important, but for him to have success in the future, he must be willing to accept and incorporate feedback from parishioners.
As I pondered the message shared by Fr. Antonio, I’m reminded of the many times I waited for circumstances to be perfect before I took any action. I was often ready for the next step, but not prepared to take the necessary actions.
The fact is that waiting is counterproductive to growth. To experience any worthwhile success, we must be prepared to move forward even when the waters are murky and turbulent. When we second guess ourselves, it’s likely we will do nothing, and the opportunity will evaporate.
Here are ways we can prepare for the next step:
- When you are no longer happy with where you are employed, review your resume to ensure it is updated. You can also reach out to people you know to inform them you are looking to make a change. By taking steps in the direction you want to go, your confidence increases.
- When you are concerned your health is starting to suffer, contact your doctor and find out where you stand. For some people, especially as they get older, waiting for the results of lab tests creates anxiety. However, it’s impossible to identify most health issues without the proper exams. The point here is that it is better to know in advance of any underlying health problems.
- When the people near you are failing to support your initiatives, it’s time to extricate yourself from the current environment. There are times when others should challenge you, but your friends and family members should also take your side. It’s important others provide feedback by looking at situations from your perspective. The fact is that most of us know exactly what we want, and we are often looking for reassurance from those who care about us.
I’ve spent more than 30 years in the workforce, and I have learned so much based on my decisions, especially the bad ones.
I’m unsure how many more years I will be blessed to live, but I do know one thing …
When I am ready for the next step in life, I must make the necessary preparations to go after anything that will make my life better, especially related to my faith, family, health, and vocation.