“Doing My Simple Duty”

“Too many anxious Christians today think that their efforts to preach and teach and enter into outward activities can do more to save the world than the surrender of their souls to God, to become Christ-bearers. They fear that if the world goes on hurling itself into disaster, as it seems to be doing now, Christ’s kingdom may be defeated. This is not so; Christ has given his word that he will be with us and his little flock until  the end of the world.” (Carol Houselander, “The Risen Christ”, published 1958) 

As we look at today’s confused and seemingly self destructing world we can think we are breaking new grounds of craziness and evil in the world. Well, Houselander’s book was published in the middle of the cold war when it seemed that any day Russia and the U.S. would begin tossing nuclear missiles back and forth, with our only protection “to duck under our desk at school”. This was only a decade after the end of WWII, which was only two decades after WWI. Yes, the world was pretty fragile when she published this book. She lived 53 years (1901 to 1954) in the midst of a lot of chaos.

I think it’s a human tendency to always be fighting the wrong war at the wrong time. Somehow, I can spend my time worrying about how I can solve the chaos in our society, how to end the war in Ukraine, how to take care of the Middle East and China…. yet, the corner of the world and the front lines of the war I should be fighting is in trying to “surrender my soul to God, trying to become a Christ-bearer…loving and caring for my neighbor.” If I don’t do this, I’ll be woefully ill equipped if I am called to do something seemingly more grand. 

Jesus help me to live in this present moment. Help me to love those near me. Help me to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit by doing small things with great love. Lord, may you find me at work when you return …. doing my duty, being quick to repent and quick to forgive. Let me not be discouraged when I come up short. Lord help us to do our small part… loving one person at a time. Help us to seek to understand and to console and to forgive… one person at a time. Help me to leave the “big stuff” in the hands of God…. and to simply be a “faithful and wise servant”.

“Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?  Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing.” (Mt. 24:44-46)

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