On the Work to be Done

I’ve been out of the office the past two days on retreat with the DREs of the diocese. It was a wonderful, Spirit-filled retreat, and I’m grateful for the time “away” — until I get back to my office and see the pile of mail and paperwork on my desk!

It would be easy to grump about the work to be done “ signing bills, responding to voice mail, writing memos “ but this Lent I’ve been trying to re-adjust the way that I look at the interruptions and intrusions. Instead of rolling my eyes and sighing, I’ve been trying to see them as God might see them: not as detours from my work, but as the real work!

Both St. Mark and St. Luke record the story of Jairus, a synagogue official, asking Jesus to heal his dying daughter. On his way to Jairus’ house, a woman afflicted with hemorrhages touches Jesus’ clothes and is miraculously healed. Jesus could have paid her no mind and hurried on his way “ he had work to do! “ but instead he stops, addresses the woman, and assures her that “your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

It’s easy to let surprises in our work tear us down and aggravate us. And I’m not suggesting that we should all be workaholics. (Even Jesus had to get away from the crowds at times!) But sometimes those interruptions are actually moments calling for grace, when God asks us put aside what we think is important in order to do his work.