Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Lent 2019: The Sweet Spot

Because I am a tennis player, I know exactly what a sweet spot is. Golfers do too. However, if I have had one singular misgiving about my experience as an athlete, it's that I was built for sports of one. However the very first video reflection in the 2019 Best Lent Ever Series by Dynamic Catholic has reminded me that my vision is too narrow. Lent is a time to not only give something up, it's a season to give in to what we want to do...what we can do...with God's grace, and focus in on our sweet spot.

I wish my hoops career had not ended in seventh grade! My lone asset, my height, was no longer my advantage on the hardwood. I look at our girls' volleyball teams and wish I had their skills and the camaraderie that comes with all that team training. I played one season of intramural flag football for Farley Hall, my freshman year at Notre Dame, but I knew I was cut out for something much different. There were no sweet spots to be found. Put me in coach! so long as it's a sport for one. I make a great teammate in that capacity and coach, too. I've loved bringing girls on crew, cross country and golf to think beyond their individual contributions, but I do envy the other domain of *true* team sports. Sigh.

However, Matthew Kelly reminds us Lent is a season to broaden one's perspective—that is what sacrifice, atonement and repentance ought to do. Watch it here 
As Christians, we’re called to act in the world. We're not called just to be spectators in this life. We're called to take action—to take bold action, to be involved, to be engaged in the life of our culture, in the life of our country, in the life and experience of humanity. 
It's easy to get distracted, though, by all the things that we can’t impact. It's easy to get distracted by all of the things that we can't influence. There's a lot of things we read in the news or watch in the news that we actually can't do anything other than pray about. 
And when we get caught up in those sorts of things—when we get lost in conversations about those sorts of things—we wander away from our sweet spot. You see every one of us, we got a sweet spot. There's a sweet spot where you can have the most impact. There's a sweet spot where you can have the most influence. And God wants you to act in that sweet spot. God wants you to live in that sweet spot and act in that sweet spot and influence in that sweet spot. And everything outside of that sweet spot, to some extent, is just a distraction. 
So as we make this journey together, it's a great opportunity to allow God to invite us back into our sweet spot and to really make us aware of that sweet spot and strengthen us in that sweet spot.
The sweet spot is the place on the racket where one ought to hit the ball. When you hit the sweet spot, the ball gets much more bang for its buck. The racket does the most work that it can—not necessarily your biceps and forearms. The outcome of hitting the ball on the sweet spot is better distance, pure power, more give, less go. I'm not sure that an athlete who plays team sports considers the significance of the sweet spot like us individual athletes do. As a golfer, I am constantly reminding myself "let the club do the work." The sweet spot affirms that it does. 

Kelly runs with this image, this idea to help us understand how we can use our gifts and talents to make the world a better place. We ought to focus in on this area and change might occur far and wide, with some ease and positive results. The Lord is much more than the master architect. God is the master manager and coach. This Lent, I hope to keep my focus so that I can bring the needs and wants of the world to meet my sweet spot.

Have a great Lent!

Photo Credits
Best Lent Ever

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