It's no secret that living out your faith in today's culture is unpopular. If you are even remotely faithful, you're "different." Religion "isn't cool," "has too many rules," and is "way too boring." But, what if all of those stigmas are wrong? What if you realize that true happiness doesn't come from the temporary pleasures of the world but in the constant, eternal love of God?
We live in a world that promotes constant self-indulgence, serving ourselves, and doing whatever it takes to get ahead of everyone else. While a little indulgence every once in a while isn't bad, we can easily fall prey to living life for "me" and only serving ourselves. What makes me happy? What will I gain from this? What are you doing for me? This lifestyle traps us into seeing life only from our own eyes. We become selfish and self-absorbed. Our problems seem to be the biggest thing wrong in the world. But it's not, it's the illusion we create for ourselves.
In "Perfectly Yourself," Matthew Kelly writes about the many people who are unhappy in their work. Even those who are making a large paycheck are choosing to leave because they want to find "meaningful work." Most people aren't engaged in their work because there isn't a bigger purpose to it. There's a reason we feel this void within ourselves. We, as children of God, are called to something greater than serving ourselves. We are called to build the Kingdom of God, to serve others, to bear our cross and humble ourselves before the Lord.
While this all can seem overwhelming, realize that the way we do this is by one step at a time. As Kelly puts it, "just take the next right step." When you are getting up in the morning and your alarm goes off, do you hit snooze a few times and rush around getting ready or do you get yourself up and make breakfast, ready to take on the day? Should you watch the fifth episode of that show or close your computer and spend fifteen minutes in prayer with Jesus before going to bed? Our days are made up of so many decisions, why not start putting it into practice now?
As we incorporate this exercise into our daily lives, one day we'll realize how much we've grown and how much closer we are to God. When we take the next right step, God opens the door to another right step and another. Before we know it, we become virtuous people and virtuous people can have a beautiful impact on others and the world. Be bold and become the virtuous woman or virtuous man God is calling you to be by taking the next right step.