I attended the final mass this past summer of Fr. Gilmary Tallman, the pastor of my home parish back in Hays, KS before he took a new assignment in Denver, CO. Interestingly enough, he didn’t give the sermon during the mass, another priest did. As Fr. Gilmary pointed out later, the constitution of the Capuchin Friars, the order of priests to which he belongs, forbids a priest who is leaving a particular parish from making a farewell sermon.

For months now, I’ve been thinking about the humility and the focus away from oneself this rule of the Capuchin Friars imposes.

Staying Too Long

One reason it can be hard to leave a place (whether geographic, situational, or mental) you’ve stayed too long is because you become too focused on yourself. Maybe things have gone well, you’ve been successful, and people continue to respond in very positive ways where you are now.  It makes you feel important and really needed. It blinds you to how things could go on without you. It can leave you intoxicated with feeling good right now, but ultimately stunting your development and the development of those around you.

It’s easy to get lazy about challenging yourself to start over and creating success again in a very new situation.

This has been on my mind while reflecting on this year and how it seems way too static in way too many ways. While I can honestly see progress in some important areas, there are far too many others where it feels like I still have a very firm foot planted because it’s more comfortable and easy not to be really challenging myself to start over and see what happens.

What Should I Leave this Coming Year?

This coming year is going to have to be a year of leaving the comfortable behind and starting afresh instead of simply getting by in less challenging situations. Next year needs to be a year of seeing how much I can stop doing in order to grow in areas where my experience is limited or non-existent.

It’s scary, but it absolutely can’t be put off any longer.

How about you? Are there things you need to leave this coming year that you have been putting off too long? Are you ready to stop putting them off and dive into something new?

Let’s get started and see what happens! - Mike Brown



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