Apr 19, 2011

Brave Bloggin’

     I am ashamed to admit that I can be pretty selfish with my time, and for no good reason. I think it is the control freak in me that wants to grasp onto any free time I have, panicking about any of it slipping away. I bundle time up like it is going out of style, as if I could store the extras in the pantry to save for later.  More recently I have become aware of this erratic behavior and tried to surrender it to God, in hopes that I would remember that no time is mine, it all belongs to Him.  Conscious  of my  time-hogging tendencies, I couldn’t help but be inspired recently when a good friend was sharing with me some of her volunteer activities. Both of us run a Catholic young adult group on Monday nights which requires very little preparation, but a serious commitment nonetheless for both of us.  While I am busy feeling sorry for my over-committed self, my sweet friend shared with my that she was also teaching Sunday School, helping out with a youth group, as well as leading a high school girls group. Feeling truly moved and inspired by the way she was using time as a gift, I couldn’t help but hug her and tell her, You are SO giving of you time. I love what you are doing with you life! Her joy and selflessness really inspired me and challenged me. As I told her so, she abruptly pulled back from our hug and questioned What I am doing with my life?! Laura, I don’t know what I am doing with my life. I’m a paper-pusher. I’m a secretary. My job doesn’t matter. I want to do something with my life, with a career.

    Her words really caught me off guard. Friend,  I said, what you are ‘doing with you life’ is NOT synonymous with a career. That is a lie the world tries to feed you. We’re measured by how white our collar is, or how our 9 to 5 is changing the world. Don’t buy that.  What you are ‘doing with your life’ mostly occurs outside of your working hours. What you are doing with your life is right here, this evening. Leading young adults, preparing little children for their first communion, giving your heart and time to teenagers girls who need to hear Christ’s message.

    She looked at me for a minute and then hugged me again, squeezing me really tightly this time, telling me that my words were from the Holy Spirit, the very thing she needed to hear tonight. She confessed that only a couple of minutes before we talked, she sat in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Alter crying out to him “What do you want me to do with my life!? I want a different job! What am I doing with my life?!” You see,  she said, God just spoke to me through you. Thank you. And then seeing another friend, she told me goodbye and thank you again.

    As she walked away, I felt that familiar lump in my throat. What had I just told my friend? Surely it was nothing I believed myself. Was I merely trying to make herself feel better about herself? My pal didn’t know this, but I had been asking  screaming the very same question {What AM I doing with my life?!} to God for the past two years. The truth is, I don’t want to be a lifeguard. I find it completely embarrassing, undignified, childish, transitional, etc. I had other career dreams. I’ve done nothing but sulk in ingratitude and self-consciousness. I knew I was preaching to yours truly when I was encouraging my friend. I felt God nudge me, reminding me that our jobs are NOT our identity. They are NOT meant to fulfill us. God fulfills us. I believe He purposely keeps us from the perfect job, so that we are constantly crying out to him, our perfect God. For those of us who don’t deem our job as important, essential, glamorous, and impressive…we must remember that the Blessed Mother was a homemaker, a job mocked in our society, and that St. Joseph was a carpenter, and beg God for a share in their humility.  We must be thankful for the earthly provision our jobs provide, but be free from all want of notoriety and recognition for our work. And while sometimes God does merge a career with ministry, for the most part..our jobs do not dictate what we are doing with our lives. What we are doing with our lives can be found wherever we are humble. Wherever we are glorifying God. Wherever we are giving of our time in service of others. 

     And tomorrow when I am pulling on my swimsuit, instead of my skirt suit, please remind me of this again :)


1 comment:

Jiza Z. said...

I love it. Thank you so much for sharing, Laura. It spoke volumes to me too.


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