While in Florida for the FOCUS convention Mathew Kelly was the opening speaker and his talk focused on becoming the best version of ourselves. A lot is us probably think, ‘well ya we want that,’ but how many of us actually take the steps to become that person? What is required of us to be the Best version of ourselves? Let’s be honest and say that there are many things in our lives that need changing, but God doesn't expect us to be able to change everything at once. This is a new semester; it's time to start working on the new you, the best version of you. The first step is to think about the biggest thing that is preventing you from becoming the best version of yourself; what is it that thing that we put first before our relationship with God…..(pause and think).
Now think about what that thing was that came to your head that you tried to shut out and argue with yourself that it really isn't that big of a deal. What was that sin that came to your mind that you get to much pleasure from so you tried to immediately stop thinking about it so you didn’t have to admit it is wrong and interfering with your relationship with God?
This is what God is calling us to change right now in our lives. By changing our lives in this way we are saying ‘yes God’. Yes God I do believe you know what is right for me. Yes God I love you more than worldly pleasures. Yes God I want to give my life totally to you because you are the reason for my existence.
Momentary pleasure does not create everlasting happiness. I can almost guarantee that whatever it was that you thought about gives you pleasure during it, but that next day guilt sets in and you have to start denying to yourself that you did anything wrong. You start trying to prove to yourself that you are still a good person because “hey at least I didn’t do what Bob did last night, that’s way worse.”
I know this seems like a lot to handle and how do we go about becoming the best version of ourselves and turning away from our favorite sin? Well in Mathew Kelly's book, The Rhythm of Life, he says that it is as simple as simply 'doing the next right thing.' You don't have fight giant battles all at once and expect to never be tempted to sin again. All you have to do is tell yourself that in every situation you come across you are simply going to do the next right thing. It makes our battles seem a lot more manageable.
Someone asks you if you want a drink even though you are underage, or if you are of age and that next drink that will put you past your limit, you don't have to try to decide if you will look stupid not doing what everyone else is doing or if someone will judge you, all you have to do is the next right thing and say no thanks. What about when see that last cookie sitting on the counter temping you even though you just had two and are full. It's not World War Two with yourself; it's simply doing the next right thing and showing a little self control and walking away. Is that pleasure of ten seconds of eating the cookie worth the guilt you feel the next few hours as your stomach is complaining because you ate too much? Or maybe it’s trying to decide if you should go to mass or do your homework. You could argue for thirty minutes with yourself and say you don’t have time for mass when in reality you should do the next right thing and go to mass because you will end up spending that hour on facebook anyways.
I hope that as humans aware of God’s love and as students wanting to change the culture and grow closer to God, that we will all take this step to face the individual challenge that separates us from God; so that together we may grow to become the best version of ourselves and therefore producing the best version of the world we live in.