This last weekend, the school where I work had our annual Open House. Aside from being really poor timing (we also just had parent/teacher conferences, grades due, and a litany of other things at work), I have a hard time at Open House. I dislike it for the same reason that I would be the world’s worst care salesperson. I don’t relish talking to people that I don’t know (unlike, say, my dad who will strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere) and trying to get them to like me and the product that I’m selling (in this case, my school).
As I was standing at my post and watching how it was all playing out, I was struck by the idea that there was a whole lot of wooing going on. Different groups of people wanted other groups of people to like them. For example, the people who were there to tour the school and apply were wooing the Admissions people, the other teachers were wooing the applicants, and the Admissions people had set this whole thing up in order to woo the applicants.
This got me thinking: what does who we woo say about us?
We spend time wooing and being wooed by our spouses (or potential spouses), we woo our bosses, we woo our children into getting them to do what we want them to do, etc. This all takes much of our time and effort. If you’re fortunate enough to be married (or a priest or religious person), you probably spent years being wooed and wooing your spouse (or the Church!). Depending on how long you’ve been at your job, you’ve spent time wooing your boss and completing every task, no matter how much you disagree with it, in order to stay in their good graces.
But, what about all of those other things that we spend our time on? Aren’t we wooing and being wooed there, too? If I spend my time surfing the Internet and refreshing my Facebook page a thousand times, aren’t I allowing myself to be wooed by idleness? If I consume too much alcohol on a regular basis, aren’t I being wooed by poor judgement and gluttony? If I am in a poor financial situation, but continue to go to the mall to “look around”, aren’t I allowing myself to be wooed by commercialism?
It works the other way too, though. If I spend time in prayer and meditation, I’m wooing God. If I go to Mass, I’m allowing myself to be wooed by Him. If I spend time in adoration, I’m opening myself up to be wooed by God. If I go to confession, I’m wooing God through my penitence.
How we choose to spend our time and what we focus on shows much about who were are and what is most important to our lives. Who do you woo? Who woos you?