Tiredness, Mistakes, and Joy

For at least the fifth day in a row, I blew it. This morning, I got the times mixed up for a meeting I was in charge of! Once again, I had to send the apologetic email, take responsibility for the confusion, and redirect folks to the right time and location. On one hand, I felt terrible about it. On the other, it was inevitable.

This is orientation week at the university where I work. Our small team is down a member, so we are all doing more, much of it outside our areas of strength. (I teach writing. Planning events is not even close to what I’m good at!) But the work needs to be done, so I told my boss yes when she asked. So, doing what I’m not good at plus being tired from the long hours plus the chaos of starting in-person classes during an uptick in cases during a pandemic . . . it was inevitable that things would be dropped. 

Two ideas have helped me maintain perspective in times like these. First, “Any job worth doing is worth doing poorly.” Of course, it is best to work at what you are good at, use your God-given strengths, and aim for excellence. But sometimes things just need to get done, even if there will be mistakes. At the center of the Christian faith is the cross. We are called to walk in the path set before us (Ephesians 2:10), and that path is not always neat and not always easy. (It wasn’t for Jesus.)

Second, “It’s harvest time.” Rest is good. Work is good. But they do not always come in nice, balanced packages, and that is OK. In the world of farming, there are times to plant, times to wait, and times to work some very long hours. That is the nature of the work. In more modern jobs, the same principle applies. If the season calls for more effort, it is OK. Mark 3:20 talks about a time when Jesus Himself (and the people He was leading) were so busy they did not have time to eat. That is pretty busy! Of course, there is such a thing as working too hard for too long (I have made that mistake more than once), but seasons of hard work are not automatically wrong. God has called us into an active family! We need to lean on the Holy Spirit to learn both when to rest . . . and when to work. There is such a thing as “good tired.”

Resources

Read Mark 3:1-21. What do you notice about Jesus’ approach to work? Is there anything here that is surprising?

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