Holy One, it’s just another ordinary day. My calendar is clear but my to-do list is long and getting more so every day. How do I rejoice and be glad in this day you have made? On Sunday we were reminded in a sermon on the book of Esther that we are made “for such a time as this?” (4:14) If I read those words in context I see that Esther is being called to engage in civil disobedience by confronting her husband the king. She is a biblical profile in courage and I admire her greatly for that. But as I read just two verses later I am not so bold any more. Esther says, “I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
How do I translate Esther’s call to my ordinary life and day? What am I created for in this time and place where our way of life is threatened by calls for civil war; where autocratic political leaders in Russia, China, Turkey, and our own nation continue to threaten our peace; where experts warn us of more brutal heat, fires, draught, and floods that will become the norm unless we take drastic measures to save our planet?
O Holy Parent, those macro measures make my puny to-do list look like someone rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Am I called to fiddle with daily chores while Rome burns? I know that “for everything there is a season,” (Eccl. 3:1) but sometimes I wonder how mowing the grass or taking out the trash fits into your purpose for my life. Yes, Lord, I know things are usually both/and, but where is the holy balance point between doing justice and doing the dishes?
At a young age Jesus had to tell his parents that he was called to be about your business. I don’t have a Messiah complex, but I answered my call to ministry many years ago. The pastoral duties I had structured my days for many years, but now in my retirement what does that call look like? I can rejoice in having a clear day on my calendar, but I know my biological clock is ticking; and every morning I wrestle with what I am supposed to write in that blank space to be a “good and faithful servant” in this final stage of my life. My spirit is willing, maybe, but my flesh not so much. I know I will never “retire” from your claim on my life, but I could use some guidance on how to live this ordinary Tuesday. I’ll be busy doing my chores, but please feel free to interrupt me with a text or a burning bush or whatever it takes to get my attention. Amen