A Check on Motivation

In the sermon at our opening retreat Mass, the celebrant referenced in his homily a question that appeared in a recent column by Ron Rolheiser. Rolheiser suggested that each of us who sees ourselves in engaging in Christ’s ministry (in whatever capacity) ask ourselves, “Do I do what I do for myself or do I do it for God?”

At first blush, it may seem like a strange question, since our response surely is an emphatic, “Of course, I do it for God.”

The celebrant cautioned, however, that it is quite easy for a bit of us to creep in. To be aware of when that is happening, he suggested the following check: Ask yourself: Do I think it all depends on me? Do I worry that I have to get it all accomplished?

In short, do I forget this is God’s task and not mine? That I am God’s helper, but it is God’s show, not mine?

Thinking it all depends on me, being unable to give things over to God, suggests a lack of trust. Equally importantly, it signals that we have forgotten that we are not the central lynchpin of the project – God is.

I suspect we could all benefit from a regular check-up of our motivation.