Somewhere on my way to class yesterday morning, it hit me. My life’s goal has pretty much always been to be useful. This is how I was raised. We’re all hard workers in my family and we typically express our love for each other by doing useful things for each other.
But this mindset often leads me astray. When I wake up in the morning, I ask myself: “How can I get the most work done today?” The problem is that I often get burnt-out and put people on the back burner, whether I intend to or not. Plus, this isn’t exactly what the Bible teaches. I think of Jesus chastizing Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Work is important, but God and others are what is the most important.
“How can I love people today?” Working hard is part of the answer. But I need to look up from the grindstone, slow down and see who needs some extra encouragement. When I’m reading John Henry Newman for class, maybe I’ll start wondering “How can I best respect and represent his ideas?” not “How can I turn this into a paper?” (And not Jerry Seinfeld exclaiming with disgust, “Hello, Newman….”) Maybe I’ll be in less of a hurry and start to love what I do. What could be more useful than that?