I hope that is o.k.
Today, I am working, and I don’t really like it. In fact, I hate it. I am doing something that I don’t want to do at all. My will would say, “Run while you can.”
And yet, Our Lord is asking something different of me.
He is asking me to stay put.
He is asking me to serve Him through my work today.
He is asking me to take any sacrifice from the work today, and nail it to the Cross.
And then to hide in His Sacred Heart, and just do what I’m told.
On the way to work this morning, I was listening to Teresa Tomeo on Catholic Connection. Her guest was Fr. Leo Patalinghug, the cooking priest! They were talking about many things, including their upcoming pilgrimage. They also began talking about Sr. Cristina, who moved forward on the Italian version of The Voice.
If you haven’t heard Sr. Cristina’s story, follow this link, and turn on the captions….
Sr. Cristina knows her mission…she understands and uses her gifts and talents…and she understands that we live in the world, but we are not of the world.
She also sees her job in evangelizing.
The way Teresa and Fr. Leo were talking about using our gifts and talents in the work place, and doing what God would have us do, in order to glorify God had me thinking about the day ahead.
You see, my plans were to go to my Lenten Friday Adoration, followed by Mass and the Stations of the Cross. My plans were to have a leisurely Friday at work, finishing up a few projects, and making sure I was set for Monday morning.
God’s plans were for me to hang out with a top 40 band, running errands for whatever they needed. God’s plans were for me to use my smile with the band, the management, and our staff coordinating the event. God’s plans were for me to meet Him in the drudgery of what I did not want to do. God’s plans were to teach me humility and discomfort, and even in all of that…be with Him.
I know some people would think, “COOL!! You get to hang out with a band!”
Believe me, 20 years ago, I might have thought the same thing.
But today, after 4 kids, 22 years of marriage, and lots of work life experience, believe me, this job ain’t glamorous.
But the Lord has not moved me from this position. In fact, I have received many blessings from my work, including my own education, the education of my family, mentoring some incredible student leaders, and the ability to accept children into our home. None of that would be possible without this job.
Christ was reminding me of gratitude – to be grateful for my job; to be grateful for my co-workers; to be grateful for those using their entertainment talents; to be grateful for faith. All of these are gifts from God. Opening the gift and being thankful for it is a way to honor God in all that you do. I was forgetting some of that in my preparation for this day.
Christ was asking me this morning, “Are you brave enough to evangelize?”
I answered back, “How Lord? How would I do that in this situation?”
He said, “Smile. Just like Sr. Cristina. Don’t worry about your words. Use your smile. Be pleasant in any task asked of you today. Offer the sacrifice of the Mass for the conversion of souls, and for the success of all involved in the concert today.”
So I did try. I wasn’t perfect during the day. I had moments of, “I really hate this.” I was reminded time and again that I needed to smile. So I did.
You know, it really was not so bad. Would I rather do lots of other things, most especially follow through with my own plans to meet Christ in the Eucharist today? Sure. But Christ was giving me the opportunity to meet Him today – in the band manager, in my co-workers, in the crew for the stage and sound, in the production company, and in the running of errands throughout the day.
When I came home tonight, I was the cool mom. I tell you, nothing evokes 1000 questions like being able to work with a top 40 band for the day!
Throughout the day, my 19 year old college freshmen texted and called me. She knew I was not looking forward to these duties. On one of my phone calls with her, she asked was everyone being nice, and not being a jerk. I told her the manager for the band was very kind. She said, “Mom, I know you’ve done this before with some jerks, so this is good that your day was spent with kindness.” I know that was Christ reminding me that He’s got this.
St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, reminds us of kindness, in reverence for Christ:
“And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:30-32)
Thank you for the reminder, college freshmen daughter!
Through our Yes to our work duties…duties that we don’t want to do – when completed with humility and reverence to Christ, our work is integrated with who we are as people of faith. Today could have gone badly for me…but because I united this experience with Christ, today was pure JOY.
Perhaps with what is left of Lent, pondering the following questions could be helpful:
- What are those duties at my work that I don’t particularly enjoy doing? Describe them in detail.
- In what ways can I show gratitude even for these duties?
- In what ways can these duties lead me to JOY, connecting them to faith and the Lord?
My prayer for you is JOY in the Lord, through the integration of work and faith. Please pray for me as well.
Blessings to you and yours!