I have a confession to make… back in the day I thought believing in God was silly. Actually, not only silly but seriously uncool. I used to make fun of this man I worked with for wearing a, “What Would Jesus Do?” bracelet. Given the guy most days wanted to use my head as a bowling ball, I was definitely looking for something to sneer at him for. As a practical joke my coworker in crime even stuck the slogan to my keyboard along with a OMGWTFBBQWWJD? sticker across my screen. O.K., I’m still laughing at that one. I think I may have to thank this co-worker for starting me on my road to belief because everyday I looked at my computer I read WWJD and eventually I bothered to find out.
Though I’ve always been blessed to enjoy my work and have met many wonderful people over the years, much of my work life was a hefty load of office politics. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I wasn’t very good at playing the games and was often hurt by the same few people doing the same few things. Maybe I was naive or too sensitive or maybe it was because I just naturally believe that people are good and will do good. Whatever the case, it took a really long time of getting hoodwinked over and over for me to become at least wary of those individuals. Not to say that I am any angel (as the story above attests). I admit to gossiping with the best of them. My life was, for a while, quite a vicious circle of broken promises, power-plays, lies and gossip and it made me miserable. All the negativity slowly seeped into my personal life and eventually I couldn’t take anymore. I gave up. I was so, so tired of it all.
When I let go, God stepped in. Through his grace, I began seeking him out. I studied different movements and religions from New-Age to Gnostic to Evangelical, Buddhist to Catholic. I was consumed with a desire to learn as much as I could and I read book after book trying to find my place.
I began reading a book called “The Rite” by Matt Baglio. It is a true story of a Priest who is called to Rome to train as an Exorcist. The more I read the book, the more I realized that this life, my life, wasn’t about the corner office. There were forces at work more powerful than money. It became obvious we all had an important choice to make between good and evil and It wasn’t enough to stand on the sidelines hoping the good guy would win. That’s when it hit me— if I wasn’t hanging out with God because he was so “uncool”, who exactly was I hanging out with? For so long I had lived in darkness and now I knew why. I had chosen not to love let alone live in it. Years ago I had been shown loves fullness in a out-of-body experience. I had literally “seen a light” and felt a love so intense I knew it was the most powerful force of goodness possible. I began to realize I was trying to find my way back to this love and fall away from the darkness.
Still searching for a path, I became intensely drawn to Catholicism by the Rosary. I found it a fascinating and mysterious ritual and decided to give it a try. Through praying its mysteries I began to understand Jesus as more than just a name on a hokey bracelet. The WWJD on my keyboard started to mean things like forgive, suffer selflessly, understand, unite. I started looking for a Catholic church to attend as I continued reading “The Rite”. When I reached the end of the book a paragraph leaped out at me — the Priest featured in the book was now the Pastor of a Parish literally 5 minutes from my home. The floor dropped out from under me and I felt the full impact of God at work in my life. And so, I followed his lead.
Each day for me is still a struggle to remember to live in love. However, I do find, the more work I put into my relationship with God the easier it becomes. Learning to forgive and to be selfless (like Jesus would do) basically squelches any kind of politics whether it be in the office or in a personal relationship — remembering at least that, makes life a much better place to live. What a blessing.