The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
Everyone is feeling this right now. We have all been shoved out of our comfort zones. We are worried about our personal health. We are worried about our children’s education. We are worried about our economic futures. We are worried about racial strife and violence in our cities. There is a lot to be worried about.
And yet, if I may be so bold, this is precisely when we can have our finest moments, this is precisely the time when we can grow and develop the most. It doesn’t feel like it. In fact, it feels awful. But think back on your life. The times when you made quantum leaps in growth were the exact times when you were pushed out of the normal, out of the comfortable, out of the regular and into the unknown.
With this in mind, great things can happen. And they will.
I recently celebrated Mass with the new Freshman Class of Nerinx Hall. In my homily I shared with them one of my favorite quotes from St. Thomas Aquinas. It is a quote that I have been thinking about and praying about a lot since I moved to Holy, radically changing my lifestyle from full time educator. It goes like this: If the highest aim of a captain was to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. We are built to move forward, to explore, to venture into the unknown.
Ever since the pandemic began, as I have said many times, I have been on “Team Breakout.” We need to be smart, we need to cautious. We need to refrain from reckless and irresponsible behavior. No doubt. But we were not built strictly for quarantine (at least not for seven months). Recognize that you were not built to stay safely in port. Recognize that the ships of your lives were destined to sail into open waters, to the shores where Wisdom, Love, and Growth thrive.