Standing Out From the Crowd

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for Third Sunday of Advent 2016


John the Baptist is truly an intriguing figure of history. He was a cousin of Jesus and literally prepared all those who would listen for this new way of life ushered in by a Messiah. Besides the key role he plays in the Gospel story, his depiction in Scripture, and then in literature, movies, and other media, gives us an image of a pretty unique person. How about locusts and wild honey for dinner? Can you imagine camel’s hair as a staple in your wardrobe? He lived differently, and he stood out among the status quo. Of course, his look and cuisine didn’t stand out nearly as much as his message.

How do you stand out? What separates you from the crowd? God has created each of us completely different and with a combination of gifts like no one else. How can you uncover and understand your unique gifts? First, reflect on what makes you happiest in life. We are happiest when we are using the talents God gave us. Next, think about what comes naturally to you, whether it is a skill, task, or emotion. Recurring patterns in our behavior and experiences provide clues to our giftedness. Finally, what do other people see in you? The communities we live in, whether it is our family, parish, school, or workplace are filled with people who can provide clues to us by their observations. After these steps, can you say what makes you special? Now, let’s start to grow that, lean on it, and stand out in a way that brings glory to God.

This entry was posted in advent, Catholic, Christianity, Discipleship, Engagement, Everyday Stewardship, Faith, saints, Spirituality, Stewardship, Strengths and tagged , , , by Tracy Earl Welliver. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tracy Earl Welliver

Tracy Earl Welliver is the Director of Parish Community and Engagement for LPi and an active member of Saint Pius X Catholic Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he previously served as Pastoral Associate for 22 years. Saint Pius X received the Archbishop Murphy Award in 2009 from the ICSC. Tracy is a writer, speaker, and teacher in the areas of stewardship, engagement, catechesis, and strengths theory, and has worked with Catholic communities throughout the US, Australia, and New Zealand. You can read Tracy’s Everyday Stewardship column in LPi’s CONNECT!, a bimonthly lectionary-based liturgy preparation publication. His writing can also be read on his Nutshell Blog, The Main Thing Blog, and in contributions to Catholic TechTalk. He also serves on the faculty for the ICSC Stewardship Institutes. Tracy has theology degrees from DeSales University and Duke Divinity School. He has been married 23 years and he and his wife, Mariann, have 3 children.

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