A Collect for Labor Day: Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
School begins again tomorrow, and I will once again become extremely busy. I love being busy. I love the adrenaline rush that comes with accomplishing lots of things very quickly. It’s something I know I do well—that is, accomplish things quickly. But to do something quickly is not necessarily to do it well.
One of my goals for CPE was to “slow down … to reduce the value of adrenaline in my life.” I learned that I can do this and that very good things happen when I do. But I don’t like to slow down. I feel less productive when I slow down. When I accomplish less, I question whether I’m allowing myself to become lazy. And then I look around for some other way to push things forward, whether it’s schoolwork or my own personal hobbies.
So my prayer for this school year is that I accomplish what needs to be accomplished, and that my actions might be compassionate, not merely busy, and by no means frenetic. I want my actions to be for the sake of others, not just for myself. I want more of my actions to arise from my awareness of feelings—those of others and myself. I want to make time each day for silence—which will be easier when I’m on campus and out of the apartment. I want my spirit to dwell in gratitude for the opportunity to be in seminary in the first place.