October 2019

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
{2 Timothy 4:7}

Well we are officially nearing the end of October. I am sure that many of you have returned to school routines this fall or maybe started a new job after graduating. Whatever you’ve been up to, I’m sure the newness, excitement, and enthusiasm you had for your tasks is starting to give way to tiredness, stress, and procrastination.

I know for me when I get a fresh start at school, I have visions of materializing a perfect year: achieving great things or finding success in my work. However, as rote tasks build up - like readings, dishes, early mornings, assignments, commitments etc… I grow weary, bored and restless for distractions and a quick means of gratification.

However, when I feel this way, I try to remember the wise words of Thomas Merton In his book New Seeds of Contemplation. Merton reminds me that:

“The requirements of a work to be done can be understood as the will of God. If I am supposed to hoe a garden or make a table than I will be obeying God if I am true to the task I am performing. To do the work carefully and well, with love and respect for the nature of my task and with due attention to its purpose, is to unite myself to God’s will in my work.”

With these words suddenly my boring, dislikable tasks gain purpose and meaning. I am encouraged to try and love these tasks and do them with great care. I will begin to form a desire, not for the tasks, distractions and gratifications beyond me, but rather a nurture a spirit of love for the work that is in front of me. This will not be because these tasks are exciting or because they hold promises of praise and success, but rather because these small moments reveal to me the nature of God and are part of His will for my life each day.

If I strive to keep this attitude about my work, at the end of each day I should be able to echo the words of Timothy: I fought the good fight when I washed the dishes. I fought the good fight when I chose to do one more page of readings even though I wanted to check my phone. I will be confident that I finished the race even if I lost my patience, got distracted by Facebook or forgot to take care of myself by stopping for a meal. And I will be assured that I kept the faith because I spent my day pursuing God’s will, to my given ability that day, by his grace in all the little moments and daily tasks set before me.