Your responsibility starts with things you can control.

That simple truism, which buzzed around my ears as I mowed the lawn this weekend, holds in politics, in family, in religion… in life.

I was catching up on various podcasts from recent weeks, and as I began to feel my mental muscles tensing up to battle a global conspiracy seeking a “Great Reset,” I realized I needed a small reset for myself.  We should try to be aware of big events and existential trends, but it is counterproductive to put our focus on solving problems over which we have little control.  They’re above our paygrade, and if God has a decisive role for us in them, then He’ll put us in that position.

Tyler Rowley raised that point in an essay on the Ocean State Current last week, in which he encourages, “Fathers, Take Your Families to Mass“:

In prudence, most Catholic men should not give the majority of their time and attention to enormous scandals and problems that are largely outside of their control. Most of us need small, concrete, practical tasks that we can accomplish on a routine basis in order to strengthen ourselves and our families.

We have direct and immediate responsibility for the physical, spiritual, and mental well-being of ourselves and our families, so that is where the greatest portion of our attention and effort should focus.  In the long run, the likelihood is that we’ll find the things we do along those lines are also the most effective things we can do on the major problems of the universe, too

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