A new year has started! Woohoo! New Resolutions have been set, and hopefully this will be the year that they aren’t broken. Because – guess what - it's your choice now. Actually, all throughout the Bible we are repeatedly told that freedom is what God wants us to have. God wants us to have the freedom to make our own choices and live life to the full. (Jn 10:10)
So now is a great time to look forward. If you finished school last year for example, life is a whole new ball game now. Welcome to the party! Your parents will stop making you go to Mass, your school won't be there to lead you in prayer with liturgies, and instead of rocking up each week to youth group, your social calendar is likely to start piling up.
By the way, just quietly, along with this new-found freedom is a whole new level of responsibility too. Yeah, sorry about that. Those of us who are more seasoned travellers learned this real quick and picked up a few tips over the years. So here are 4 things for you as you step into the adulthood of your faith:
1. Spend time with God every day.
I don’t care if it’s 5 minutes or 50 minutes, journaling or praying set prayers, that’s up to you. But I dare you to do it. Simply speak to God about what's going on in your life, and invite Him into it. Read a short passage from the bible. With all the new decisions you need to make now, you need to know that God is intensely interested; he wants to help you out! A short phrase that I say - sometimes daily - is simply “Jesus I trust you. Let your will be done.” Download the Ignite Youth Fuel app to get kickstarted in this daily habit. You can thank me later.
2. Get connected with the Sacraments.
Mass is like the local ‘service station’ for your faith. If you get distracted and disconnect from the Bread of Life, your faith will start to drift. Make a decision now to go to Mass once a week, no matter what. And while you’re at it, line up a priest to go to confession (Reconciliation) to kick off the year with a healthy, holy bang. The more time you invest in the sacraments, the more strength you’ll receive through the year ahead. Trust me.
3. Invest time in relationships with people who are on the same journey.
It’s been said that ‘we become like the five people we spend most of our time with’. This is the year you need to intentionally surround yourself with the people you want to be like – especially those who will help you grow stronger in faith. While you’re at it, find someone who is a little bit older and make a point of checking in with them once a month, just to share about life, faith, relationships, work and anything else that’s going on. Lining up a mentor like this is one of the best things you could do this year. Why not ask someone today?
4. Get Active
There’s nothing better than finding a place where you can serve and live your faith out in action. If you’re not sure where to start, just do a search, ask around, contact your local diocese for some info, like this flyer on social justice opportunities in the Brisbane QLD area. But don’t forget, you can’t give what you haven’t got. If you’re keen to get busy serving others, make sure you take time to get around people and events that will also fill you up and deepen your faith.
So there you go, a simple-as checklist for a year unlike any other. You can do this! We believe in you! And if you need any help on the journey, don't be afraid to reach out – there’s a church full of people passionate about supporting you in this life that lays ahead.
Living or moving to the Brisbane area? Contact Catholic Collective for a bucket-load of support and service opportunities, and join Ignite Youth for Mass each month at Ignite Live Feb to Nov. All Brisbane Mass and Reconciliation times can be found on the website or app.