Reaching Your Faith Life Potential
by Jay Fadden
A word that we often hear is potential. I have heard it used in sports, education, the arts, and even in terms of parenting. Webster Dictionary defines potential as the following: “existing in possibility: capable of development into actuality potential benefits.” To me, potential is the ability to achieve our talents to the fullest through dedication, practice, and hard work. You do not become a great basketball shooter unless you work hard and believe in yourself. To be a good friend, you need to work at it. Potential is the ultimate reward of believing in yourself and setting and reaching goals that are attainable.
It is easy to understand potential in sports, education, arts, and parenthood, but what about our faith? Are we reaching our potential as faith-filled people? Or do we just accept that we are endowed with our faith when we are born, and that is good enough? If you answered “yes” to that question, then I am sorry to say that you are not reaching your potential. Our faith life is more than a belief; it is the fabric of our lives. It is not a one-hour commitment every Sunday. It should permeate how we live and how we present ourselves in the challenging world in which we live today. Faith should give us direction, hope, and strength. Every decision and choice we make should be in concert with our faith. Life and faith cannot and should not be separated.
So, are we reaching our potential? I think it would be hard to fully reach our potential because discovering our faith life more deeply makes us ever evolving. By trying to reach our faith potential, we learn more about our faith, how we should live, about ourselves, and how we should treat others. The question “What has Jesus done for me?” begins to change and become, “What have I done for Jesus?” We see Him in each person we meet and every conversation we have with others.
It can seem overwhelming at times to try to reach our faith potential. But unlike the other examples I cited, age and talent have no bearing on reaching that potential. In fact, reaching our faith life potential is a lifetime quest. The goal should be greater than reaching our potential. The goal should be constantly trying to reach it and grow as a child of God. It is in the quest that we grow closer to God and become who He wants us to be and who we should be. With free will, we have the choice to give up or veer from the path Jesus has given us, but we also have the ability to start anew. Even if we have fallen, we can still try to reach our potential in faith because God never gives up on us, so we should not give up on ourselves. It is a great gift that cannot be taken away or diminished. It is a gift within our reach.
I would ask that you consider how you have tried to reach your faith life potential. Through reflection, you may discover that you have the ability to do much more to grow in your relationship with God. It is both personal and communal. All you have to do is try to reach that potential, and today is a great day to start!