Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

April 21, 2012
by

John McCoy

Freshman, Political Science and Economics Double Major

Acts 6:1-7
Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
Jn 6:16-21

There seem to be two main themes from today’s readings. The first reading describes the discontent from the Hellenists that their widows were being excluded from distribution. In the Gospel, Jesus frightens his disciples, who see him walking on water.

The two themes, inclusivity and fearlessness, tie wonderfully together.

It can be extremely easy for us to fall into routines and patterns. We get set in our daily ways, continually doing the same tasks without truly gaining anything from the experience. Whether or not we recognize it, this routinization is partially a fear of the unknown. Change and new experiences are not typically welcome.

Over the course of the last seven months or so, I have grown to appreciate change. Oftentimes, change occurs when we finally recognize we need to change, like in the first reading. Our experiences we have in this world are meant to be shared. We, as human beings, are social creatures. Just as I like to share my stories and experiences with others, I need to be open to their experiences and stories. As I have become increasingly inclusive, my eyes have been opened to all different kinds of struggles and triumphs my friends and acquaintances have had – situations that I will most likely never experience first hand.

It can be easy to be fearful – to close oneself off from others and differences. I believe change cannot occur by doing the ordinary, comfortable tasks of daily life. We only grow in our personal lives, social lives, and faith if we venture beyond what is comfortable. God has given each one of us a passion in life: there is some task that we excel at – some task, which we must complete to leave the world a better place than we found it. To discover our passion, and act upon it, we must continually step into the frightening unknown.

The disciples’ purpose was to welcome the Risen Lord into their boat. Fear got in their way and they arrived at the shore before being able to welcome him.  We cannot let fear be an excuse. We must take a step outside of our comfort zone. Windows of opportunity are only open for a short period of time. If we let our fear intimidate us and keep us from trying something new, we may never ignite the passion we have been given. True growth requires work. We must step into our fear to learn our purpose.

A secular quote illustrates the pointlessness of fear of new experiences:

“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” – George E. Woodbury

We can never reach the top if we don’t try. Be not afraid.


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