Thursday, November 17, 2011

Only One Thing is Needed

It's a crazy-busy time of year. For most people, things are crazy-busy because their kids are in 3,195 Christmas events and they have presents to buy and fancy Christmas foods to make. For me, none of those things are an issue. I don't have a husband or kids I need to shuttle around. My family is skipping Christmas presents this year because we're all flying to France to visit my sister. And so the fancy food preparation is also unnecessary because I don't think they let you bring a honey baked ham on trans-Atlantic flights.

But things are busy with work! Pretty much every summer activity my students will be doing- youth conference, service trip, faith camp, and Lifest - has registration due incredibly soon, so I'm doing one of my least favorite aspects of my job: paperwork. Ugh. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Soon it'll be back to actual teaching and chilling with teenagers, which is far more fun than filling in health forms.

My brilliant spiritual director recently cautioned me to not make an idol of busy-ness. In our culture we associate "being busy" with "being important." But Christ calls us to be humble. Christ calls us to serve. Being busy is well and good, when it's for the glory of God, but is not an end unto itself. My Martha-ish tendencies manifest in the worst way when my to-do list is long. Prayer life suffers. Old habits creep in. Not good.

"...The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her." Luke 10:41-42

Another tendency of our modern culture is equate importance with doing 'big stuff.' We see the politician or executive who deals with multi-million dollar budgets and think what he does is superior to the stay-at-home mom who can feed a family of six with $100 a week. We might look at the activist who raises awareness of a human rights abuse and think his life is more heroic than a dad who works 60 hours a week at minimum wage to provide for his family.

I have a great love for St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, who taught that by living our life to the fullness of our vocation, striving for holiness in little things, and keeping focused on Christ, we can become saints.

"Persevere in the exact fulfilment of the obligations of the moment. That work — humble, monotonous, small — is prayer expressed in action that prepares you to receive the grace of the other work — great and wide and deep — of which you dream."
-The Way, no. 825.

(other than one tiny objection - using Myanmar instead of Burma - I freaking love that song)

So I will try to refocus this weekend on the "the one thing that is needed:" pursuing Christ and falling in back in love with Him.

Deo omnis gloria!

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