Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hit That Curveball Out of the Park

Below is a speech I gave upon the culmination of my 2-year term with the Ursuline Mission and Heritage Commission, a group professional of women and men associated with the Ursulines of Cleveland who have great spirituality and support. I decided to "put myself out there" in front of everyone in attendance in light of all of the changes that are on the horizon in my life. I really try to heed my own words when feeling down in the dumps about certain things in life (ex: my career, financial situation, etc.). I got a great response from many people afterwards, so I decided to share it here in case it provides even a small glimmer of inspiration to others. So, here it is:

"Hi Everyone! My name is Matt Orgovan and I’m currently the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School.

When I sat down to reflect about my two years with the Mission and Heritage Commission, what immediately came to mind was how, when I began this ministry in the fall of 2007, I was dealing with some inner struggles that I couldn’t quite get a handle on. Though things in my life at the time were better than I could have imagined, I nonetheless felt a sense of sadness, a touch of depression and random anxiety attacks that made me feel like I was living life in a haze. I kept saying, 'Get a grip, Matt. Things are great right now. Snap out of it.'

Other than my close friends and family members, I did my best to not let it affect my work or interactions with others. I think I did a pretty good job in that regard. The support of my wonderful fiancee Joanna and others, including being a part of the Mission and Heritage Commission, helped me navigate through that unexpected state of what I perceived as helplessness.

I don’t know if any of you have ever struggled with anxiety or depression. If you have, my prayers are with can be a scary place.

Yet, looking back through my mission journal, I came across a phrase from the introduction portion of St. Angela’s counsels that has stuck with me in one form or another since I first read it and really helped me along the way. It says, 'Have hope and firm faith in God who will help you in all things.' I’m a big baseball fan, and I sometimes talk in baseball metaphors, so I consciously try to remember that quote as I face all of the curveballs...and even the slow homerun pitches that life throws us all minute by minute.

Having a group to listen to, to share ideas with and to meditate with, has made me more aware of and in touch with sentiments like that. God has a plan for all of us...certain stages of that plan we may struggle with...we may ask why this, now? or if it all seems to pile on at am I going to handle this? Certain stages of this plan may cause us to jump up and cheer or, as Tiger Woods frequently does, pump our fist in the air. Whether we want a certain stage of this plan or not, it really helps to just sit back, step out of the box and look at the situation objectively...and remember, God has a plan. You do all that you can in life, the rest is in his hands. When overwhelmed by those unhittable pitches, try the best you can to make contact...that’s all you can do. And when you get that straight, slow meatball of a pitch, hit it out of the park. But, remember that when the latter happens, don’t gloat or boast, just thank God and enjoy the moment.

Another phrase I love that goes hand in hand with that earlier quote, goes something like this, 'The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.' Through the Mission and Heritage Commission, my spirituality and relationship with God has evolved. I think about spiritual quotes like those two more often. I am more aware of the fact that while I can control many things in my life, ulitmately it is He who calls the shots. God’s blueprint for me will end with a cozy spot with him up above. That’s all I need to know.

In closing, I will continue to keep in my thoughts the wonderful community of the Ursulines. They have been such a support of me personally and of VASJ. Even though I was thrown one of those very curveballs a few weeks ago, I decided that the prudent thing would be to consider moving on. Whether that ultimately happens sooner rather than later, remains to be seen. God has a plan for me. It’s in his hands. I know that. I accept it and I will do the best that I can to hit that curveball out of the park. Thanks and God bless."