Reflection by Steve Arendt, a parishioner
Christmas was a great family experience for me this year and I sat down to write about my perfect family in a perfect Christmas setting. I was going to paint the picture of awesome wife, super kids, a great day with parents and siblings. A “God is great, God is good” type of message.
But then I remembered. Oh Cr-p I can’t paint the perfect family picture. That is not fair, It is only perfect once in a while. Becky and I were pregnant before we were married. My teenage boys get into trouble once in a while. There was a time when my fathering skills were seriously challenged. My relationship with my parents has been rocky at times. Becky and I experience highs and lows in our finances that causes stress. I struggle being a great husband at times.
I can honestly say that there have been struggles and there will continue to be struggles. Our family has great days and we have challenging days. HOWEVER, I have grown into two concepts that have made all the difference. They are Faith and Hope.
I am not talking about a faith in the rules of my religion and a hope that they are right. I am talking about a faith that I am a creation of God, created in the likeness of God and guided by a God who loves me. Grounded in this faith I then experience the hope that everything in my family is perfect.
For me it is about the “experiencing the hope” . This is real and tangible. It has become so real that if on any given morning I am feeling something less than a creation of God I have to come to a complete stop and renew my own faith that I am a child of God, made in God’s image and desirable by God. If I don’t take the time to renew this basic faith, then I am doomed to have a cr-ppy family experience and a bad day. I will not experience the hope that is designed to be a part of my day.
This is my simple reality.