Two years ago I attended the E6 Men's Conference for the first time, and to this day I am reminded of this simple phrase spoken by Fr. Jonathan Meyer, "Your best ability is your availability". The full homily was recorded and shared below for reference.
As I reflect back on those words today, this is what I hear God telling me. I am most helpful at work, at my parish, in our home, and most especially in my marriage when I'm AVAILABLE. I was recently promoted at work, and I'll be honest it caught me by surprise. I'm often the least utilized resource on the team which isn't surprising given that most of my team has 25+ years of experience compared to my 10. What surprised me the most though was the reason my boss gave me for my promotion: "Whenever I needed you for something, you were available and jumped right on it". The logical assumption would be that the person getting promoted is #1 in something or everything, but if you think about it from the lens of a manager, if I have a team member who is always so busy he never has time for the projects I need him for...how helpful is he? Who's he really helping? How much of the work he does is actually directly benefiting his boss?
I've been in a job before where I was that guy, I worked 60 hours a week, I did "everything", and after several years of non-stop work I had nothing to show for it but multiple panic attacks. Looking back, it's easy to realize that much of the "work" was self-imposed and inspired by my own ego.
I would encourage you to watch this homily, and reflect on your own availability as you continue your Lenten journey. Who are you most often working for, and for whom are you least available?
For me, it's availability for our boys. My phone may keep me connected to the outside world, but it disconnects me from them. My phone is primarily for work so I'm trying to keep it in my office. Additionally, I'm going to remove social media from my phone (I typed this up before Lent...didn't do this...deleting now).
Whether it's God, your spouse, your children, your employer, or your parish, what will you change this Lent so that you can be more available to them? I'd love to hear about your plans and keep you in our prayers this Lent.