It’s usually earned and it’s rarely given freely.
I’ve been blessed to speak to 4 different audiences in the past week: an elementary school leadership day, a Confirmation retreat, a grade 11 retreat, and a Reverence 4 Life mini-conference. While it has made for a couple of late nights (both in preparation and catching up on work), it has certainly been worth it.
And not because they are good photo ops or because they make me look busy or “in demand” as a speaker.
Rather, I am grateful for the trust from those inviting me to speak (principals, teachers, campus ministers, priests, etc) and from the students I am speaking to.
I am always flattered (and sometimes surprised) when I am invited to speak at a conference, rally, retreat, or workshop. Ditto for being asked to emcee an event – especially a wedding.
I love the responsibility, the pressure, and the expectations that come with the invitation.
And I love the opportunity to speak to and with young people. To model a healthy Catholic lifestyle. To witness to my faith. And to share the joys, struggles, blessings, and challenges that come with being a disciple.
Admittedly, I need to catch myself sometimes and give myself a humility check (yes, I actually try to be humble…haha). I know plenty of speakers that love to post about where they’re speaking and how many people they are speaking to. Or they take pictures of the airports they are in and the planes they are on.
I’m in no place to judge their intentions. And I’ve done these exact same things before. There’s always a bit of ego in these types of posts; otherwise why would I post it?
But going forward, I want the focus to be on those I am speaking to.
So the next time you see a picture or post of mine from an event I’m speaking at, please do me a favour and say a quick prayer.
Pray for the students, for the organizers, and for me.
Pray that Jesus works through me and in me. That I speak words of truth, passion, love, and mercy. That I may decrease so that He may increase.
And that God opens eyes, changes hearts, and transforms souls.