Wednesday of Trinity 22 – Matthew 24:42-51

| November 18, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Boss - Office SpaceMatthew 24:42-51

Most of us adults don’t like being watched by our bosses.  As children, we know that we’re supposed to be watched and that this watching is for our own good.  We don’t always like it, but as children we know that it’s usually a good thing.  But as adults, we often rebel at the idea of our boss watching over us.

The question has to be asked “Why?”  Why such rebellion against something the boss surely has a right to do?  For some people, it might be simply a fear factor or one of intimidation.  Another answer is that it offends our adult sensibilities.  “I’m an adult and expect to be treated as an adult.”  And there is a point to that.  The implication is that since I am an adult, I should be treated as an adult, since I will act maturely like an adult.”

But that’s the problem for most of us, isn’t it?  We don’t always act like adults, do we?  I think that one of the main reasons we don’t want our bosses watching over us is precisely because we know that this will put an end to our off-task, frivolous behavior!  So our answer, instead of being brought back to maturity, is to get mad at the one who might catch us goofing off!

I hate to break it to you, but God is your boss.  Except that all of the normal excuses for not faithfully serving an earthly boss have to be thrown out the window.  You can’t claim that you don’t have to work hard or obey “since the boss is a blooming idiot!”  You can’t pretend that you know better than the boss or that He’s an incompetent punk.

So what is your relationship to God, when seen as that of Master to slave?  How faithful have you been in that relationship?  Even the boss-employee analogy doesn’t go far enough, because the truth is that we’re God’s slaves.  We have fewer rights than we think we do, but a lot more blessings than we think we do.

The truth is that you have entered into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant that was ratified and put into effect in your baptism.  When you agreed that God would be your God and you would be His child, you signed away your life: you volunteered to be God’s servant, and even His slave.

More than that, you chose to join His Kingdom and to become a minister in it.  When you work, whatever work God has given you to do in this life, you are to do it as if serving the Lord.  He is your true Master and your real boss, behind any other bosses you have.  The experience of work in this life, then, is not just the daily grind: it’s our daily bread that the daily grind helps make.  It’s the way that the Lord comes to us each day, for He has incarnated Himself into our daily lives and experiences.

This understanding that God comes to watch over us every day, and even every moment, is part of what the Christian’s longing for unity with God is all about.  It’s what practicing the presence of God is all about.  Yes, there is a certain fearful expectation, if we insist on being like the wicked and unfaithful servant.

But how blessed it is to have God as your boss!  When working for him, we don’t work for earthly pay, and aren’t time-servers who will do the minimum amount of work to still keep the job.  When working for God, it’s more like being a father or mother.  It’s a job you don’t get paid for doing: in fact, it’s a job that costs you a great deal, in time, energy, money, and every imaginable resource.  As fathers and mothers, we’re recompensed, all right, but the rewards are intrinsic to the experience itself.  There’s no cold, objective, symbolic exchange of money: instead, there is the ultimate reward of God’s blessing for doing His will.

God delights in catching His children doing what they’re supposed to be doing.  As a teacher and a parent, sometimes I feel as if I’ve too often looked for the worst in my kids.  It’s not that I wanted to find it: it’s just that it’s been one of my jobs to keep order and make sure people were doing what they were supposed to be doing.  It’s kind of like the way teachers take out the red pen only when an answer is wrong.  The truth is, that my watchful eye has often been necessary and has allowed for true learning and peaceful lives.  It’s prevented the world of my classroom or my home from descending into a re-enactment of The Lord of the Flies.

But how blessed I have always felt when I would return to classroom and find peace and order and my kids busily working!

How blessed as a father, when I go to inspect a kid who’s been assigned a house job, go to check up on him, and find that he’s still at work!  How happy when I go to check on the ruckus in the boys’ room only to find that it was a happy noise, and not injuring and crying.  How overjoyed, when I happen to wander past some of my children and find them at peace with one another and enjoying one another’s company!

One of the things I’ve found useful in my life is to keep before me this simple phrase: “Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?”  It’s a phrase I developed for use by a classroom of kids with learning disabilities I had one year.  I asked them to think of this question throughout the day as a way of focusing.  Throughout the day or week, I’d occasionally remind them of this important question.

It’s amazing how that simple question can immediately raise my awareness of where I am in my life at any given moment.  I don’t usually have to think too hard for an answer.  It’s usually clear.  Maybe I’m goofing off, and so once I’ve raised the issue with this question, my conscience quickly seizes the control knobs and steers me back to God.  Maybe I’m in a sinful attitude, and God is calling me to change it.  Maybe I’m working, but there’s something more important I’ve been called to do instead.  And maybe the question finds me in that most blessed of states: doing exactly what God desires for me to do.

Today, rather than thinking about what will happen if God catches me being the wicked and unfaithful servant, I’m going to think about what will happen if He catches me doing what I’m supposed to be doing.  It’s not just about the state I’ll be in when it comes time for me to die: it’s about what state I’m perpetually in, moment by moment.  And, after all, it’s this moment-by-moment state that will determine my final state.

Today, I’m going to think of God not as a meddlesome boss who I’d rather not see but a loving Father coming to visit one of His children.  Today, I’m going to think in terms of pleasing my Father whom I love, hoping that when He does come by and look He’ll find me doing His will.  And then, like any good father, he’ll give me a great big hug, which we adults may call union with God.

Prayer:  I desire, O God, this day most earnestly to please Thee; to do Thy will in each several thing which Thou shalt give me to do; to bear each thing which Thou shalt allow to befall me contrary to my will, meekly, humbly, patiently, as a gift from Thee to subdue self-will in me; and to make Thy will wholly mine.  What I do, make me do, simply as Thy child; let me be, throughout the day, as a child in his loving father’s presence, ever looking up to Thee.  May I love Thee for all Thy love. May I thank Thee, if not in words, yet in my heart, for each gift of Thy love, for each comfort which Thou allowest me day by day.  Amen.  (E. B. Pusey)

Points for Meditation:

  1. If God were to evaluate you on your typical day, how much of the time would He find you “doing what you’re supposed to be doing?”
  2. Meditate on the joys of pleasing your heavenly Father.

Resolution:  I resolve to work today so as to please my Lord.               

© 2014 Fr. Charles Erlandson

Did you like this? Please Share it:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Give Us This Day

Leave a Reply