Back in university, when I chose my career, I didn’t really realize what I was getting into. (Does anyone?) It is so much more than a job. I deal with hundreds of young people every week, aged 3 to 14. They can be energizing and draining, sometimes at the same time. I need to be constantly mindful of the fact that I am dealing with hundreds of individuals, each of whom comes into my day with a different experience. Which one of them is upset today because they…
-didn’t have breakfast–again?
-fought with mom or dad before leaving the house–for the third time this week?
-lost their grandmother last week?
On the other hand, who is excited because…
-their family got a puppy on the weekend?
-their team just won the provincial championships?
-they had their first visit from the tooth fairy (little things can be REALLY BIG when you’re 5)
Sometimes when the demands of work are pressing in on me, and my mind is tied up with worries about what’s due, what’s been misplaced, and what I have to be doing in 15 minutes, I think God uses them to tap me on the shoulder. Someone will give me a big smile, or an unexpected hug, or tell me a story about the latest important event in their lives. I give them some of my attention, and they give me a glimpse of the bigger picture: we are not here just to “do”, we are also here to “be”. At times like these, I think that God’s purpose for each of us is not always in big undertakings, but in small gestures and everyday encounters. I don’t always get it right, but I will keep trying.