This past week, after having tables at the Mid-South Leadership Conference in Lake Barkley, KY the first part of the week, St. Mary's set up a booth at Christmas Village at the Fairgrounds in Nashville. A large event with vendors covering five buildings worked by members of Pi Phi to benefit the Bill Wilkerson Center, we open on Thursday night and do not break down until Sunday at 6pm. I have to admit that it is a big job but I was lucky enough not to have to work out there every day because my sister does that duty for the store. However, the show is always great and we see all sorts of customers that we never get to see otherwise and we feel that our particular merchandise speaks of the True Spirit of Christmas. As a matter of fact, we have many people come by the booth and share just that thought. They love the beautiful Nativities and angels and books and ornaments.
Every year we are next to the same family and every year the father of the group starts in on me as soon as he sees me coming. He ribs me from the first day to the last and of course, I give it right back. Imagine that! His daughter leaned over to me this year and said, "Just consider this a mission field." Of course, with that, I started thinking about how I should consider every aspect of my life a "mission field" from my home to the streets I drive to my work to my church and my school and my community. What mission does He have in mind for me? Am I just to make people laugh or to listen to their story or simply to walk with them? Is my mission truly what I have in front of me or is it a much larger field?
The readings at Mass this past week were about taking what we are given and multiplying it, putting it to use, making a difference. The parables make the point that anyone can take what they are given and keep it for themselves in a safe place and return it at a later time. But, how many of us really maximize the gifts, accept the challenges or even know what it is we are called to do? Really called to do? How many times have I played it safe and missed opportunities?
This past week in the church and in the field, I was reminded that I need to take the time to first of all figure out what it is I am supposed to be doing in every aspect of my life and then to use that to multiply the gifts that I have been given. I know I've been doing a lot of time consuming coasting. Busy work. Time for me to step out of my comfort zone, to get out into those fields and multiply the goodness of God.