This week, I was reminded that striving for progress over perfection and tackling the task at hand can glorify God if we offer it to him because he gave us this life and work in the first place.
A book of daily meditations called In Conversation with God had a reflection last Friday that I continued to think and pray about this week and I wanted to share some of what continues to impact me.
Reflection on "The Time and The Moment"*
We must live in the present moment and focus on the task at hand. That is all we have control over. The past already happened and the future isn’t here yet.
We should accept whatever is before us and stop carrying burdens that exist in the future or that aren't rooted in reality. We allow the Lord to sanctify our actual tasks and circumstances "...because we have become thoroughly convinced that these tasks will be converted into something great by the Lord (111)."
Avoid distractions. Even worthwhile tasks that should be done at a different time can distract us in the present moment. During the day, we can hold ourselves accountable by asking is that really what you’re supposed to be doing? This will become easier to discern as we create routines and consider how they jive with our daily responsibilities.
We have a lot of work to do and that work is worthwhile but may feel mundane and unimportant. If the work is related to our vocation (whatever it is God has called us to) even the most mundane tasks can sanctify us while bringing glory to God. We glorify God by completing the task without grumbling, by doing the best job we can and by simply saying, "Lord, I give this moment to you."
Calling these seemingly mundane tasks worthwhile may feel like something to say just to get things done but in reality, these mundane tasks can bring us closer to God because he has set these tasks before us.
God gives us grace for this moment. Don't stress about the future. Whatever we are stressing about may not happen and if it does, we will have the grace to deal with it but we do not have that grace now. Instead, we have the grace to live in this present moment.
God can sanctify us now. Let us not miss this opportunity to offer him this present moment, whatever it may be.
The following are excerpts from "The Time and The Moment" for further reflection.
*In Conversation with God: Meditations for Each Day of the Year, by Francisco Fernández-Carvajal, Scepter, 2017, pp. 110–114.
People frequently become engrossed in activities that have little to do with the responsibilities which they have at hand (110).
We can waste our time by doing whatever we want instead of what God wants... The life of each man and woman exists in the present moment. These are the only moments which we can truly sanctify. The past and the future only exist in our imagination. The memory of our past can inspire us to acts of contrition or thanksgiving, yet even these prayers take place in the reality of the present (111).
By not fulfilling the duty of the moment, by putting things off until tomorrow, we often end up omitting them altogether... draw up a schedule or plan and then stick to it as best we can (111). Laziness may be personified by someone who accomplishes absolutely nothing, but also by the person who is busy doing everything except what is his responsibility. Such a person will give in to any and all distractions (112).
Living in the present moment is an aspect of living in the presence of God. We should become convinced that the offering of our work requires our complete attention, as if it were the last thing we would be able to offer him. This attitude will lead us to finish our tasks well, no matter how insignificant they may appear to be. We will behave in this way because we have become thoroughly convinced that these tasks will be converted into something great by the Lord (111).
Making good use of our time means that we will live in the present moment. We will not retreat into the past which is gone forever, nor escape into the future which may never materialize outside of our imagination. It is the present moment which can be offered to the Lord, none other (113).