Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Preaching what we Practice
I'm fairly good at practicing what I preach...except of course when it comes to screaming things like "why do you have to yell like that?" at my kids. I'm around enough people to know that this is common so I don't worry too much about it. I have just recently been challenged to preach what I practice. This is a little more challenging. I'm not much of a "preach-er", actually I try not to be "preach-y". Sometimes, however, I just assume that people know what I know and I'm finding out that is not always the case. I'm quite good at "preach-ing" in the case of homeschooling and socialization. "Oh my kids are too social to homeschool" someone might say. That person can then expect to hear an earful from me about their misconceptions regarding homeschooling. Theatre is an area where I'm not as skilled in the "preach-ing". Up until last month when our children's theatre joined ranks with a local community theatre, we were the best children's theatre in the area performing in a very poor rented location. The directors were paying an arm and a leg for the rights to the shows and more than an arm and a leg for the less than ideal space and they were barely breaking even. I would find myself getting extremely annoyed with people who complained incessantly about ticket prices etc. I just ASSUMED people knew how much it was costing them. Often I'd find out later that people had no idea about the costs involved in running a successful children's theatre. I spent an awful lot of time frustrated with people who simply didn't have all of the information I had. Church is another where I have trouble "preach-ing". The Catholic Church is probably the most misunderstood organizational body in the world. It is certainly misunderstood in my corner of the world, by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. I've been Catholic my whole life, but I've only begun to scratch the surface of what that really means. I tend to clam up or walk away when I hear about these misconceptions because I feel unqualified or unworthy to attempt to explain them. If somebody misunderstands my point about homeschooling or theatre it's not really all that crucial. If I somehow misrepresent THE CHURCH, there's too much at stake...too much pressure. The problem is, by doing and saying nothing, I am making a statement and I've come to realize it is not a good one. There's a saying "you might be the only cathedral someone sees today." This applies not only to trying to be gracious and considerate to everyone you meet, but also in explaining why I go to the Church with the Eucharist instead of the one with the best jelly donuts or the most welcoming people.