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Peace and Joy in the Incomplete?

Today in the shower… I noticed the grout needs to be cleaned. And it's cracking a bit, which probably means it needs to be sealed or something. But I’ve got to clean the garage and organize winter clothes today. It already snowed and we scrambled to find everyone's snow gear.

I feel like there's always so much to do and I’m always behind.

Even if I miraculously clean all the things… they will get messy again and/or I will be interrupted mid rage-clean to fetch snacks and wipe butts. That to-do list is infinite, but I think it’s supposed to be…

Hear me out… if we COULD check off everything on our lists daily, we wouldn’t NEED our Lord so much. Our vocations are pathways to heaven with stepping stones of opportunity which call us outside of ourselves and toward God.

Every interruption is a reminder for us to give our lists and wills over to the Father. His to-do list may look a lot different. And it usually involves fetching snacks and wiping butts 😅

The anxiety that comes from rushing around to complete your to-do list isn’t from God. I believe each item on your list is an opportunity to slow down and give thanks for the vocation you are in. It often comes with an enlightening dose of humility and trust too.

In fact, St. Thomas Aquainus has written about happiness and fulfillment not necessarily found in earthly achievement, but it’s found in good, true, and beautiful things like the virtues needed in working toward such ends. So what we seek (happiness and fulfillment) is not found in the end (completing your to-do list) but in the working toward (finding God in the actual tasks themselves).

So when you see smudges on the wall, and a floor that needs mopping, close your eyes, take a deep breath and smile…these are the works that help us fall deeper in love with God and the vocations he’s called us to. Instead of rushing through your checkboxes, slow down and try to remain present for each task, and let that list slowly transform your impatience to patience, your anxiety to peace, your pride to humility, your wanting to gratitude and unfold a powerful sense of being exactly where God wants you to be.

(written 11/18/2022)

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