essential, Joan Chittister, mantra, office, penance, service, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily, work
I can’t say that I am excited about going to work this morning. My list of homegrown tasks is long enough to fill the whole week, but an office day will bring me back to focus on the part of life that is more difficult to celebrate on lovely summer days.
Joan Chittister says in her book, Wisdom Distilled From the Daily, that in the monastic tradition “work is not a punishment or a penance. Work is a privilege.” She is certainly right about that in my life. I’m so grateful for all the different positions I have held and every kind of work I have been called to in all my years. My work has put me in touch with a huge number of people – some tangentially and some directly – all of whom have added to my growth as a person.
I think today of all the people who work in monotonous situations, as in factories where there work consists of one repeated task all day, every day. My prayer for them would be the knowledge of how their work is essential to whatever is being created by the collective work of all the employees, and perhaps that they might consider their part as a mantra, repeated for the good of all. And for those who work in sanitation departments, I pray in thanksgiving for their service to the rest of us as they take away all the things that clutter our lives so that we can come to see more clearly.
I could go on but I need to get ready to leave for work. I do, however, want to continue thinking about those who offer essential services to the public and to pray in gratitude for them. And my hope is that they can find satisfaction in their service, especially in relationships with those who share in their work. And for the unemployed, I pray that work will soon be offered to them and that they will be taken care of by the generosity of others until that day comes.