“Fake it until you make it” is a popular saying about attitude these days, and it’s true. This weekend, I wasn’t in the right place to be hosting 21 third graders for a two-hour Halloween party, but somehow, when the guests showed up, we were ready and put on a happy show.
By the time we finished, I heard a kid gush, “That was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life!” What had we done? We’d sung stupid songs, made up Halloween fairy tales and played freeze tag, eaten cupcakes and spider Oreos, and run back and forth from the front yard to the back six times while trying to find prizes in a scavenger hunt. By the end, I’d forgotten how I “wasn’t up” for this when we started the day.
This lesson came home again the next morning when we went to a different church for Mass owing to when we woke up. They had a full band with drums and electric guitar. My three-year-old put her hands over her ears. “It’s too loud.” she said. Being Mommy, I put on the brave face and sang along even as inside, my head begged, “Dial back the amp please.”
I found my mind wandering, wondering if I’d have to grow to love this sort of arrangement for Mass as part of purgatory, especially when they sang a little “Go listen to the Gospel Children.” round as the priest dismissed those 9 and under to participate in a children’s liturgy/homily.
It soured me until I saw the family in front of us, a mother, father and two girls, one of whom had a severe handicapping condition, but she was singing. She liked it. The music reached in and pulled her into the Mass in a joyous way I’d never manage. So I again resolved to fake it until I made it, and by the time we went up for the Eucharist, that sour part in me had evaporated.
Works without faith are meaningless, and faith without works, dead. In either case, what is called for is that we hear the invitation to go and work in the vineyard and say yes, or get invited to the wedding and come prepared. Our will and our actions must be united in action, united in Christ, if we would be counted as His friends. If we come, if we act, even with all our false starts and failures, His grace will make up all that is lacking in us, and make us not lack.
Here’s hoping your week is filled with moments of being filled and of recognizing that when you will it, the emotions eventually follow. Happy Small Success Thursday.
Copyright 2014, Sherry Antonetti