What is Your Real Motivation?


St Bartholomew's Church (Photo from their website - www.stbarts.org)
St Bartholomew’s Church (Photo from their website – http://www.stbarts.org)

I like to think of myself as spiritual rather than religious. As DJ Cool simply summarized, I like to apply the chinese menu style of religion, a little from column A, a little from column B, leave everything else. One of the things that I choose to participate in is the Lenten season. I like the idea of “fasting”, be it giving up something, be it food, alcohol, or time.

Today I actually attended the mass at St Bartholomew’s on Park Ave. It is a beautiful church, close to my office. I’ve gone there for ashes a few times, but this year I actually attended the lunch time mass. The sermon delivered by Rev Lynn C. Sanders, discussed the idea of motivation behind Lenten sacrifice. Reflecting on the gospel from the Book of Matthew (and the only reason I know this is because they handed out a print out of the entire mass so you could follow along!), “Jesus said,”Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in Heaven.” Basically, are you doing good deeds/making sacrifices for recognition from those around you or are you doing them because you want to and for your own spiritual/emotional growth.

I’ve been struggling with this type of thought with in my own life. Why do take on the challenges I do? Why do I feel the need to prove myself? Who am I trying to prove myself to? Why do I feel the need to be recognized for the things I do? I’m not saying I need a ticker tape parade every time I show up for work; I’m not that insecure! However, why do I have such a challenge being content with my own knowledge of my accomplishments and the joy that they bring me?

Does anyone else struggle with this?

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