I’ll start my morning reflection with a confession: 15 years into a successful professional career I have lost my passion for this work. My wide-eyed enthusiasm is gone, replaced by the art of biting my tongue and corporate speak.
Unfortunately as a young man, I did not listen to God when he called me to serve him. I listened to conventional wisdom and cast aside my dreams only to replace them with the practical economic reality of earning a living in a wealthy country.
I used to be proud of my accomplishments. Now I understand that everything I thought I achieved was by the grace of God. I did not understand that my vocation is to be a disciple, husband, and father in that order. I did not understand that the working career I have is not and end, but simply a means to one.
This year of 2011 is my personal crossroads and in January I set a goal for this year – to develop a vision for the next 5 years of my life. With each step, I have prayed incessantly for clarity from our Lord, rather than a specific outcome such as that important job offer. I know now that clarity from God, patience, determination, and prayer will lead me to understand his will for me.
I feel like the clarity I have prayed for over the past 10 months is coming to fruition and unfortunately, I am a man of action! I do have the patience of Job - I have the patience of a squirrel.
When I am ready to take action, I often substitute activity in place of effective, directed action – it is a sign that I am afraid of taking the next step – the leap of faith - that I am called do take. I am like Martha from today’s reading (hear it read).
In this reading, Jesus is in the home of a woman called Martha. Her sister, Mary, sat with Jesus while Martha (like me) scurried about being a busybody. Martha sounds self-righteous to me when she appeals to Jesus:
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
Jesus offers kind words for Martha:
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”
I smiled to myself when I read this passage. Jesus tells me to stop worrying about many things and focus my attention to the better part – following his teachings and serving our Lord. In my head, I can hear him saying: Jeff! Stop being a squirrel and focus on serving me.
Thanks be to God for this teaching today – when I truly need to listen to the words of Jesus. I pray for continued clarity and effective, directed action so that I may serve the will of God through my discipleship, vocation as a husband and father to the my beautiful children.
- Today is the feast of St. Francis – one of my favorite saints.
- Please send me your prayer intentions and I will pray for them.
- Watch a video reflection on today’s scripture readings.
- Download a free song of faith from iTunes.
- Martha (vitaconsecrata.wordpress.com)
- Martha And The Concerns Of The World (catholicjules.net)
- Capture the Moments (aprilhawk.wordpress.com)
- What is your destination? (cinhosa.wordpress.com)