Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Becoming the Best Version of Myself

I am an avid reader and love to read as a way of relaxing after a long hard day. The books I read are not of a widespread variety, but with the few genres I do enjoy, I read as many as I can. My top two favorites would be Christian chic lit and self-help/growing-in-my-faith books. Christian chic lit are those easy reads when I've had a full day of children, housework, and running five million errands. Self-help books (only of the Christian/Catholic variety generally) are there when I want some short, serious reading time.

I have slowly been reading Matthew Kelly's Rediscovering Catholicism over the past couple of months. It takes me a while to read a book when I want to really focus on every single word and take some time to reflect on what I've read. It's worth the long stretches of time for me. With this particular book, I happened to find it in my mom's bookshelf full of children's books from homeschooling and political books that belong to my dad. Since I was familiar with the author and have liked his books in the past, I picked it up to just poke through it. Once I began, I was hooked. Around this same time, I went to visit a good friend who lives on the other side of the state. She happened to have listened to a talk on CD that Matthew Kelly gave about "becoming the best version of yourself," and couldn't stop telling me about how wonderful it was and how I should listen to it.

Isn't it funny when God seems to give you a nudge? In his Rediscovering Catholicism, Matthew Kelly talks about "becoming the best version of yourself." He talks about how saints became saints because they strove for this goal. And isn't that our ultimate goal? Like the Litany of Humility states, we pray that others become holier than me provided I become as holy as I should. We should be on that road of constantly striving for holiness, of being as close to Christ as we can become. That, tied with No Complaining Month, really set me thinking about this. Matthew Kelly says that when we do anything, we should be asking ourselves, "Will this help me in my goal of becoming the best version of myself?" and if the answer is "yes" then we should act. If the answer is "no" we probably should find an action that will. While suppressing the urge to complain over the past couple of days, that question has been popping into my head. I have found myself not only accomplishing a little bit more because I can't waste the time whining or finding excuses not to do something, but also diverting my attention from time-wasters to working on things like making dinner a little extra special for my tired husband who works hard all day or playing a few more minutes with the boys, when I usually would go find something to do on my own. I know laziness is a vice that I tend to act out in abundance and I know that it is one of many, many things that prevents me from growing in my walk with God. I pray that I can keep this up and that this question is always a conscious question I ask myself when faced with decisions, whether they be seemingly inconsequential or essential to living. Only then can I keep moving towards becoming the best version of myself.

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