PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

 

"The heresy of work"


"Slow down, you are moving too fast. Slow down, you're going too far. Come to think of it, a lof us get so caught up in the rat race and even begin to live like rats. The Lord reminds us again today that life is not so much about foing fast or far, but going to the heart.

"The bottom line is that we are just instruments, unworthy ones at that. In other words, it is God's work, not ours. More than being so focused on the work of God, les us focus on the God of our work. Instead of being so engrossed in our mission for God, let us focus on the God who called us for a mission. We are important, yes, but none of us is indispensable in God's eyes.

"Years ago, we had a confrere who put in his office a poster which said: "If you have nothing to do, don't do it here." He wanted to tell the world that he was such a busy and an important man that he was not to be disturbed by those who had "nothing to do." But, it was also a pathetic reality about a man who valued work more than persons, thinking of himself as a "somebody instead of "someone."


"By the way, the above-mentioned confrere, when he had no more function or position in the retirement house, hardly had any visitors or well-wishers. Sad, but true. The problem with him was that he forgot that we have worth not so much because of what we do, but because of who we are. That's why we are called human beings, not human doings, right?

"When taking to people, avoid these three possible turn-off questions: "What are you doing here?" (This question presupposes that ne is supposed to be doing something, somewhere); "Anything I can do for you?" (Again, this question presupposes that doing is the basis of relationships); "When are you going? (This question presupposes that one should not stay long, but should be moving on.) If you have the tendency to fire away these questions, especially to people who come to you unannounced or who come to do nothing, you have fallen into the trap of what our old novice master called the "heresy of work." It's all right for people to just be, to take time, and to stay."

- Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, "Slow down" in Moments, Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 2009


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