Balancing Work and Ministry

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Mother Teresa once encouraged us that God does not call us to be successful, but to be faithful. As a CORE Member of The Simple Way, neighboring is very important to me. But most of the time I feel like I’m failing, priorities falling through the cracks between my finite fingers as if I were desperately trying to hold onto sand. Sometimes I’d rather forget it all and Netflix myself into oblivion. Can you relate?

In my situation, I work full-time at a nearby Christian health center. The work has been deeply meaningful, and also challenging. As a Behavioral Health Consultant, I’ve been able to learn conversational Spanish, accompany patients through life’s difficulties, and pray with others.

At the same time, the job is very emotionally draining and takes up so much of my days. I’m not able to spend as much time with neighbors and friends anymore. It’s like logistical Tetris trying to also fit in spiritual practices, self-care, and prophetic activities to resist systemic sin and injustice.

Whether you’re trying to manage full-time work, parenting, care-taking, chronic illness, a disability, or any other life situation that makes you feel limited, it can seem like you’re never doing enough. Meanwhile, other people appear to have it all together, maintaining a full life while looking flawless doing it, curated by social media.

There’s probably resources you can find that teaches strategies for time management, organization, and other life skills that I haven;t figured out yet. But I sense God beckoning me to turn away from the individualistic, performance-oriented mentality prevalent in our culture so that I can focus on God’s loving presence in my day to day, whether I’m at the clinic or on my block.

By being fully present in the moment, attuned to God’s voice and movements, I can gain clarity on how God is inviting me to join in. 

We are not our own, but part of the Body of Christ. In The Message, Romans reads, “Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. Let’s be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t."

By being true to our limited, finite selves, we remember that our significance does not come from our individual achievements, but from being lovingly woven into the larger story of God’s redeeming work in this world.

Maybe someday my Google calendar will be perfectly cataloged with color-coordinated blocks of intention. But for now, I’ll be content in remaining open to the invitations that lie in every greeting from a neighbor, each tear shed by a patient at work, and every interaction God meets me with daily.

- Sueihn Lee, CORE Member of The Simple Way