Work

By Melodious Monk

Too much to do and not enough time. This seems to be modus operandi of much of our culture. We create gadgets to be more efficient, and we still find ourselves running out of time!  I find myself often bemoaning the fact that I can’t get all the “things” I’m responsible for done — the list never seems to end. It seems to grow the harder I try! The list feels like some of those trick birthday candles that never blow out no matter how much air you blow at the flame!

Do you ever ask yourself why God gives us work?  M. Basil Pennington puts forth this idea about how St. Benedict uses work to teach us lessons about God.(1) He says that having too much to do is actually a gift from God.  When we get to the end of the day, we realize we weren’t able to accomplish everything we might have wished.  And we are reminded that we are not God.  We are weak, needy people, in need of help.

Often I just get angry that I couldn’t finish everything I wanted to in the day. I try to plan better to find out how I can improve tomorrow.  But again this is a dead end.  In my own strength, I’ll still come up short. In his wisdom, Pennington is reminding me that coming up short is okay, and in fact a very good thing, even a gift from a loving God.  Why? Because it forces me to remember who God is, and allows me to choose to live in his strength, and by his grace.

[(1)  from Listen with your Heart, by M. Basil Pennigton, Ch 14]

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