Monday, September 3, 2012

Life and Labor

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 feelingsthose 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.


  1. Well said! All the best for the academic year just beginning. Harry+

  2. Thanks, Harry. And while we're here, thanks for being a positive influence on me in my youth!

  3. Josh- Well said. It is always difficult for me to remember that constant motion doesn't mean that work is being done. Thanks for the reminder on this first day of school.