This past weekend I attended the Holy Spirit Catholic Church Men’s ACTS retreat here in San Antonio. ACTS stands for Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service.
Starting on Thursday evening, our core team of 30 men welcomed the 32 participants who committed the weekend to get closer to God. I also attended as a participant in 2019, and it was a tremendous and fulfilling experience.
On the evening of Day 1, the participants turn in their mobile phones, watches, and any other electronics. The goal here is to disconnect from the day-to-day pressures of life and to focus on our faith.
The Evangelization Talk
On Saturday morning, Danny, a church friend from Holy Spirit, shared a powerful talk on the topic of evangelization. At first, I was planning on missing the talk to perform some of my assigned duties, as I’m part of the Stewardship Ministry.
However, something told me I needed to stay and listen. It was important that I remain in the room to hear this message.
Blossom Where You Are
Near the end of the talk, Danny mentioned the difficulty he was having with a career change. He had recently lost an employment position where he spent nearly 24 years.
After speaking with his wife, she recommended he work with children. After all, he was the leader of a teen church ministry that had gained strong momentum and popularity.
Danny took his wife’s advice, and he was hired as a Pre-K instructor. However, as he explains, teaching these young kids was a far bigger challenge than he had expected.
He was not used to the “I want my mommy” requests that are common with children who are new to the school environment. This experience was way outside his comfort zone.
He was frustrated and had no idea how he could handle it.
He said, “It was time for me to call my own mommy to get some words of wisdom.”
His mom said, “Danny, this is a tough situation for you, and I recommend that you blossom where you are.”
This is not exactly what he wanted to hear at this time, but if he wanted to stick with this position, it was important to listen to his mother. He needed to learn how to blossom in this environment and use his positive nature to meet new challenges.
Find the Good in Every Situation
This talk by Danny reminded me that I need to focus on what is good about a situation instead of looking at the negative aspects. This will help me to blossom in any environment that comes my way.
Let’s start with the ACTS Retreat. It’s tough to commit an entire weekend to one event. There is so much other stuff I would like to be doing, such as watching college football, working out, going to dinner with my family, and even doing nothing at all.
However, these spiritual events remind me about the good of evangelization, to spread the word. In other words, I need to do more than merely listen.
I need to act … to share.
If I learn to flourish in any situation, even when my time is limited, I find there is something valuable I can do to help others.
For example, I might be able to call a friend who is grieving about a loss. I might be able to spend an afternoon playing sports or watching a movie with my kids. I can even offer to clean the pantry with my wife.
One last point I want to share is to take the time to help others flourish in their environments as well. On the retreat, I took the time to write personal letters to some of the retreat participants, and several of them made it a point to thank me. They appreciated the short personal note. When we are positive about our own situation, we can reach out and inspire others.
Come to think of it … this is the beauty and power of evangelization.