Day 8 is about “little b beliefs.” The essay specifically called out that they weren’t looking at beliefs like religious beliefs (for lack of a better phrase, let’s call them “Big B Beliefs”, but the little beliefs that impact us. The examples given are pretty standard American dreams– white picket fence, clothes of a certain type, living standards at a certain level, those objects that we pursue.
And we separate the two– on Sundays we proclaim how we believe in God, the Father Almighty. And every other day of the week, do those little b beliefs match up with the nicely worded creed? Do the little actions taken day by day, moment by moment, serve the overarching beliefs that, as a Catholic, I carry with me? And isn’t that so much of the heart of the issue?
The parable of the sower was today. And there is that one patch of seeds, the ones that are choked out by the vines– by the worries of the day to day– how many worries do we carry that are in service to beliefs that are totally at odds with our ultimate goal? I had career goals and I worked at them. And I sacrificed the well being of my mind, and time with my family, and for what? I didn’t even have the excuse of wanting nice stuff. I did it out of sheer, stubborn pride. If I had to do this thing, then by gum I’d be the best ever because I had the talent. And its true that I have certain talents, everyone does. But have I always used them in a way that supports my beliefs? Or just the empty expectations of the world. That I will do well at my job, that I will own a home, and have two cars, and take nice vacations, and eat good food, and maybe even give some to charity as I can.
How awful a realization. And it wasn’t a new one, it was just getting smacked with it again. Of late we’ve had some of the songs from Prince of Egypt on heavy rotation in the child friendly sing along. This one comes up a lot. And it seems appropriate, though I can’t really put it into words. But there it is.