On this Saturday of the Second Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.
God asks quite a lot of Abraham. After God finally blessed Abraham with a son at the ripe old age of 100, He asks Abraham to give up Isaac. Not just to let Isaac go or to abandon him. To offer him up as a holocaust to God. To slaughter Isaac.
And yet Abraham unquestioningly obeys. Or at least he starts to until God stops him.
Could I do that? Could I obey without doubt or reservation? When have I been called to sacrifice something dear to me?
Well, I’m still seeking discernment on this related question: is my reputation—and are my friendships—things that God wants me to place on the chopping block? To offer up to Him?
I think He might have recently given me an opportunity to offer these things to Him. Specifically, my 8th grade son’s basketball team has been very successful this year and, entering the postseason today, they have a very good chance at making a run for the championship.
Unfortunately, smack in the middle of the postseason is the Parish Mission. The Parish invited an awesome speaker, Fr. Larry Richards. I’ve seen him speak before—he is very energizing and inspirational. For four days Fr. Larry will pump us up in our shared Faith. I have been hoping to bring my whole family to each day of the Mission.
The difficulty is that the team’s practices will overlap with the Mission. Our Pastor had asked us that Parish-related activities not be scheduled during the Mission to allow maximum participation.
So, the issue came up at the team’s parent meeting yesterday. The coach explained the conflict, told us that no player would be penalized for missing practice because of the Mission. He even offered to hold practices at 6:30 AM instead of the normal time to allow participation in the Mission.
My heart dropped when not one parent—myself included—spoke up for the Mission. In fact, when asked who was planning on attending the Mission, the only voices were quick denials.
Should I pipe up? But we’re new at this Parish and school, still learning personalities, making friendships, getting acquainted. In fact, one of the parents who seemed most vocal is someone we’ve drawn close to and feel comfortable with.
During the discussion I did not speak up since the coach already knew I had planned on going to the Mission. I told myself, “it’s not your place to tell these people whether to support the Mission.” But is it? Did I hide a lamp under a bushel basket by remaining silent?
Is God asking me to offer my newly forming friendships and reputation as a sacrifice to Him? Or was I right to remain silent?
My family watched For Greater Glory last night, the story of Mexican Catholics fighting for religious freedom. What sacrifices am I asked to make in our current war against cultural ambivalence?
Please give me your thoughts.