As I organized my office, a colleague asked the obvious. “What do you think you are doing? I thought you had a project due shortly.”
“Why are you cleaning?”
“It is always good to know where you are, especially when you need to make progress.”
Without a reference point, it is easy to end up distracted and on a wrong course. In any context, it is helpful. Work assignments take on a fresh perspective. Personal challenges can be seen in a greater context. Spiritual conundrums will be shaped by truths. If one is unsure, it is profitable to stop, reflect, and find one’s reference point.
I turned away from the conversation and focused on the matter at hand. The process gave me the space to reach towards my values and priorities. Even as my focus returned, I could see the challenge ahead. It was the same yet it was different. I was part of writing a greater story. I held the invitation to exercise my freedom to make a difference. I am a messenger and guide, nothing more. The road ahead of me was an opportunity not a task.
As I reflect on the outcome, I see that this model extends to every part of my life. I am not the first to recognize the model and the role within it. A wisdom father said it well; “We are servants of Christ, not his masters. We are guides into God’s most sublime secrets, not security guards posted to protect them.” (1 Corinthians 4.2)
This is not a path for those looking for ease and comfort. Adversity will strike without compassion or consideration. It is unlikely that there will be any recognition. Those that could use our help the most are often the ones that are waging a battle with us.
Yet, this is the role that we are call to follow. Each will interpret it differently. How is plays out in our journeys will be distinctive. Whatever we might think, the invitation is worthy of consideration. We can be a positive force for change.