Struggling Catechist

Wednesday. Children’s Liturgy of the Word.

Our son (9) attends Catechism, and Miss Jenny (may or may not be her real name), leads this small (12) group of future spiritual leaders, fututre parents, and possibly, future Catechists.

And then there’s me, a struggling Catechist.

The past two years I’ve been invited to assist on Wednesday nights. This was a natural and desirable opportunity, since I drive our son to attend.

Otherwise, I’d just sit in the car, doing work on a laptop, which is what I did three years ago when this started.

But this year, something is different. Mostly my schedule. It’s the busiest I can ever remember being. Ever.

In fact, the first month, September, was the busiest travel month all year. I missed every single session. October was not much different.

I feel like dropping out. If I can’t give it my all, my full attention, I feel guilty.

What would you do?

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.

1 comment

  1. Dear Jeff,

    I would have a talk with Miss Jenny to let her know the following in this order:

    1. What is being learned is very important, not only to your son, but to you.
    2. You appreciate the vote of confidence from her that she would ask you to assist.
    3. However, your schedule may not permit you to be someone who can be counted on to be there every Wednesday.
    4. Therefore, if she needs someone to assist her every Wednesday night, then she may need to find someone else who can meet that responsibility within his or her schedules. If, however, if she is just appreciates having some assistance from time to time, you will offer to commit as much as your work schedule will allow.

    What that does is that is shows her your heart’s desire and appreciation for the opportunity (#1 and #2) before expressing a negative (#3). But then you follow the negative with possible alternatives or solutions (#4). What all that does is lay it out there so that she knows your commitment level of what she can count on, and if she needs more than you can give, she can feel open to ask someone else.

    The bottom line is this…as much as I know you love and want to be there for the class and for your son, overcommitment is a major stressor that has a way of hurting people spiritually. I have seen many a person in church who have become so overcommitted (after all, 20% do 80% of the work in most churches) that the joy of serving gets replaced with “just doing a job.” Larnelle Harris once had a song called, “I Miss My Time with You.” It is from God’s perspective to someone who was so busy “doing” the work of serving that he lost the perspective of the relationship with God. The chorus says, “I miss my time with you…those moments together. I need to be with you each day, but it hurts me when you say you’re too busy…busy trying to serve Me. But how can you serve me when your spirit’s empty? There’s a longing in my heart, wanting more than just a part of you. It’s true, I miss my time with you.”

    I am saying all of this because I have been there before. And it is bad when serving God becomes a job, not a joy.

    I hope this helps.


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