Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

Re-Launching the Idle Faith

idle faithPublished August 2014: The Messenger – Faith: A Fresh Take

Re-Launching the Idle Faith

As summer winds to a close, I often jokingly say that I’m counting the days until school starts while mediating arguments and dealing with restless teenagers. As a teacher, I love the fact that I get to stay home with my kids during the summer. We stay busy with day trips, dance and football practices and jaunts to my sister’s pool, but at times, it seems that the kids are restless when a day of “there’s nothing on the calendar” arrives.

The busy-ness that consumes our society has unfortunately become the norm, and I am a guilty culprit. If I am free from grading or writing, I create a project around the house. From painting the deck and planting flowers to cleaning out closets, the urge to accomplish something is gnawing away at me during my free time. My children have picked up on this and find themselves wanting to make plans for every minute of the day.

What’s missing is time for relaxation and reflection in our lives. By staying busy with physical tasks, we miss out on opportunities for reflecting, praying and focusing on our faith. While many of us take time for nightly prayers or blessings at meals, do we really ever etch out time in our day to reflect on our faith besides weekly Masses?

The focus of our busy-ness drive should be to make time for these peaceful moments, take time to show God that he is a priority and set an example for our children.

Although I’m not one for sitting still, I have found a way to compromise and make time for reflection. This week, I bought a bike. It has been at least 10 years since I’ve hit the pavement, but I challenged myself to up my fitness goals and find some “me” time. What I have found is that while riding my bike through the neighborhood or on the local trails, I am making time for reflection. My thoughts are running rampant while the breeze blows in my face, and I’ve made it a goal to ponder my faith while pumping the pedals.

While riding my bike, I’ve been able to think long and hard about my family, my goals, my blessings and most of all, my faith. I’ve worked out a mental plan about how to be more involved in my faith community, how to put others first and how to be a better person in all that I do. These plans are a work in progress, but without making time to reflect, they would still be lost in the busy-ness that surrounds life.

My bike is just a tool to fuel my faith. I just need to make sure it doesn’t remain idle so I can practice what I preach.

— Shannon Philpott

Read More Fresh Takes on Faith HERE

August 31, 2014 - Posted by | Newspaper Writing, Opinion, Sample Work | , , ,

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