Lent—a time set aside to help us reflect, pause and grow in silence, to deepen our relationship with Christ. Sometimes I wish the rest of the world would get the memo and cooperate with my selfish desire to have 40 days to be a hermit, and come out a better person. As much as I would love for that to happen, let’s face it—it’s not going to. But we still find ourselves frustrated when our ideal Lenten promises and sacrifices aren’t going the way we planned, because life gets in the way.
Working at Maggie’s Place as a volunteer coordinator gives me plenty of things to keep nice and busy, which is great because I would get bored otherwise! Between 15 people a day asking about volunteering, managing the different schedules of volunteers coming in, making sure everyone knows what to do, creating a newsletter, signing off on hours, doing trainings and orientations—I think you get the point—time to pause and be still can be a luxury.
Often times with all the new names, faces, events and responsibilities I encounter in my work as a volunteer coordinator and a MissionCorps member, my mind gets cluttered with a haze of information. I’ve become fairly used to working with this haze by now, but there are certainly days when the clutter in my head is as thick as London’s fog and I can’t seem to get anything done.
Today is one of those days. I had a day like this two weeks ago as well—I was so busy and behind on work that I was in a bit of a delusional state. I felt the adrenaline kick in, said a Hail Mary and decided to just buckle down and tackle whatever task came up; without any breaks! I kept chipping away here and there at emails, questions from my contact moms, phone calls, plus much more and little by little things cleared up. After about six hours of working in this delusional state, I sat down, looked about me and realized I got something done! A couple days later, as I was looking back on some of my emails and documents, I was actually amazed at how coherent my thoughts were despite the haze.
I am reminded periodically when these days come around, that God just wants me to do the task He puts in front of me as best I can. At Maggie’s Place, our work is our prayer; our Lenten sacrifices are also the sacrifices we make everyday for personal time and space. We shouldn’t get discouraged when we fall from our ideal outcome; God just wants us to keep trying for His glory. At the end of the day what really matters is to love Him, and do His will before our own. I try to remember that when I would rather have a clear mind and a smaller to-do list, so I can sit outside and read City of God. If I make my work my prayer and align my will to God’s, I still end up spending time with Him. So keep trying; in your busy work delusion you can still get time with God in this Lenten journey.
By Lety Sanchez, MissionCorps member at The Elizabeth House