This past Tuesday night, I (along with Sean) was the blessed to be an “accomplice” in my buddy Mike’s marriage proposal to his girlfriend Jennifer. It was an amazing and unforgettable night, in large part because Jenn had no idea that the proposal was coming and she was caught completely off-guard.
Thankfully, she said yes…haha.
Mike had been planning the proposal for the past two months, and in the last week in particular we exchanged a flurry of emails, texts, and phone calls as we finalized the details. Our plan was quite elaborate and quite brilliant if I may say so myself…as was the execution. The acting on the other hand….
As I type up this blog, I’m savouring every single sip of my Pepsi. That’s because I will starting an exercise regimen and nutrition challenge as I commit to becoming healthier.
Believe it or not, I used to be in good shape. I participated in many sports in high school and university, and was likely at my peak physical condition when I was 21 years old; I even had a 6-pack stomach haha. When Gail and I got married in 2000, I was a svelte 140 pounds and a size 28 waist. As I got older, my metabolism began to slow down and I started to gain weight slowly yet steadily.
After Dad died in 2004, I went to see my family doctor for a check-up. He told me that my blood, heart, and cholesterol were all fine but that he wanted me to lose 10 – 15 pounds. Well that was 9 years ago and since then I’ve gained weight instead of losing it.
They say that there are two types of people in this world: those that light up a room by entering it, and those that light up a room by leaving it.
Let this be a reminder to us of our important role as youth workers: to “illuminate” the lives of young people by being a reflection of Christ’s abundant and never-ending love. Let us be affirmed in our role: to lead young people closer to Christ and his Church.
This is simple in theory, but not always easy in practice. We should never underestimate this great responsibility. It is a blessing, a privilege, and an honour.
My sons Sean and Jacob were chosen to proclaim the readings at the Christmas Eve Mass at our home parish of St. Paul’s last week. Both of them prepared very diligently – and it was indeed an honour that our pastor asked the two brothers to read at such an important celebration.
We arrived 40 minutes early so the boys could practice everything from their approach to how they would stand behind the microphone. Once Mass started, Jake was first up. For some reason – despite knowing that he was to read from the right side of the book – he proceeded to read from the left page. Thus, he was reading the wrong thing.
A few words in, Jake caught himself, took a deep breath, and simply said, “I’m sorry” before embarking on the correct reading. He completed the reading from Isaiah perfectly, unnerved by the 400-plus people in attendance. As he returned to his seat, I leaned over and whispered to him, “Good job, son.”