If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.G. K. Chesterton
I’ve started a podcast called, How Did You Get Here? I think it’s worth doing badly. After listening to the first episode, I’m very proud of the production value that my bosom chum Beepy D. Silverose brought to it. You almost can’t tell we’re making it up as we go along. I’m also impressed with my first guest Yancy Evans’ mellifluous baritone. But I’m terrified that my friend Patrick will make up a drinking game based on how often I mumble / say “um” and destroy his already well-worn liver. Please, please, please, People: take to heart Nancy Reagan’s admonition, “Friends don’t let friends make drinking games based on Rob Drapeau’s speech patterns.” (I can’t find the exact citation, but she definitely said that. Really.)
So, what motivated me to do this now? I’m glad you asked.
For years now, I’ve worked with the RCIA program at my parish, helping loads of lovely people come into full communion with the Church. Their stories are always inspiring and I frequently get things in my eyes hearing them (I’m not crying. YOU’RE crying!). Anyway, it occurred to me that many of the people in the pews on Sunday have grown up taking the Faith for granted, in much the same way people born American citizens take our country for granted.
When I’m doing the intake interviews for RCIA, I always start with the same question: How Did You Get Here? Hence, the title of the podcast. I know why I need Jesus–as my former boss Scott Whitfield was fond of reminding me, I’m the worst sinner I know–but I’m always curious to learn why the articulate / well-dressed / financially-solvent / physically fit / insanely talented person sitting in front of me thinks they need Jesus. From my perspective, they’ve got their poop in a group, so how did they get here? Attractive women and strapping men don’t have problems, right?
They’ve got the same holes in their souls as the rest of us. And it is always moving to hear someone tell you that they’ve fallen in love with your True Love and want to surrender themselves to Him. Their humility is humbling and their ardent desire for what I too frequently treat with casual indifference increases my own ardor.
I’m such a narcissist that I vacillate between thinking too highly or too little of myself. But when I’m listening to these stories of people responding to their Father’s call, I am reminded that, whatever I may think of myself, I am blessed and privileged to play some role in these stories. God knows exactly who we are and wants to draw near anyway. That’s good news. To paraphrase the Graham Kendrick song, “he paid what he thought we were worth.” Domine non sum dignus.
I am starting this podcast because I think other cradle Catholics will benefit from hearing these stories as well. It also occurred to me that the people entering the Church might want to know why we cradle Catholics stick around, so you can expect to hear from some natives as well.
I’ve grown weary of the division and discord I come across on social media. There might be a ton of things to be legitimately outraged about, but all the shouting hurts my ears. I love Jesus. I love His Church. I love everybody. I have heard good news and I want to pass it on.
Catholics are notoriously bad at sharing their faith, but it’s not brain surgery. As the Psalmist says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” (Psalm 107:2) Tell your story. Don’t be assive-aggressive. Easy. People love stories, especially love stories and stories with lots of twists. It’s my hope that this podcast will be a platform for sharing the stories of how God draws straight with crooked lines.
Please subscribe and spread the word, etc., but most importantly, please pray that God will bless this humble project. And, for Patrick’s liver’s sake, please pray that I get better about the “um’s” and “ah’s.”