So I sent messengers to them, saying, 'I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it to come down to you?' --Nehemiah 6:3
There are times when our work seems to take precedence over everything and everyone else in our lives. We may be compelled to finish what we have started; we may be completely engrossed in the task before us, or we may be on a time deadline that will not allow any diversion. We may be so creatively charged that we don’t want to be diverted, or the work is just too important to set aside even when others are requesting or demanding it of us. It is natural to have this single-minded-ness at times in our work because God made us not only to participate in the on-going creation of the world, but to participate with passion. We need not shy away from these times that are as intense as the colors of an evening ocean in the South Pacific. But, like the evening ocean whose colors dim when the moon rises, so the intensity of our need or desire to complete a particular work will dim as time and necessity pass. The difficulty for us during these times of intensity is not the call of the work, but the call of those who do not understand or share the call of our work. There is a disconnect between their need to be with us, and our insistence that work must claim our time and passion. This disconnect will not become a source of friction and conflict if we are understanding of those whose love stands close at hand and if we are gentle and re-assuring about the commitment we have to be with them as soon as our task is completed. The resistance and chafing in our relationships occurs when we engage in work simply to avoid relating to those who share our life.
So, work the work when intensity is pulsing insistently and steadily within you, but let the work be still when the intensity passes. In that stillness, be fully present to those who have been waiting patiently for you. Let that presence feed both you and them.
O God, help me discern when my work is so important that I must give myself completely to it, and when it can be halted in order that I may give myself completely to those who walk in love with me.
These meditations by Renee Miller first appeared at explorefaith.org
Please use the share button at the top to share with friends and loved ones. Thanks!