Thursday, January 04, 2007

Just Kill Me Now...

The stockings are no longer hung by the chimney with care, the last Auld Lang Sung. The holidays are official over and it is time to go back to work…

…so just kill me now.

The common misconception, for those of you who don’t know me well, are that nuns only pray all day, and when they do work anywhere they are teachers. Oh contraire; times change. I work in bureaucracy every day, steeped snorkel deep in it. “Snorkel deep? I hear you ask. Yes. Have you ever seen someone say “I have had it up to here” as they bring their hand level with their throat? Many of you have probably made this gesture yourself. In my case make a fist. Extend your little finger and your thumb. Now hold your hand up next to your head as if you are breathing through your thumb. That is snorkel deep – already way over your head. Douglas Adams said it best…

“Bureaucracy is a parasite that preys on free thought and suffocates free spirit.”
- Douglas Adams

Now imagine being part of bureaucracy for 23 years. Mind you if you did anything for 23 years it would probably get old. Don’t get me wrong. I am glad to have the job and it certainly stands head and shoulders above many of the other jobs I have done. Some examples:

I have been an animal caretaker in a genetics lab. 1200 rabbits create A LOT of rabbit poop. It was, also, a genetics lab, so maybe that is what happened to me. But I doubt it.

I worked in a factory. Wow. That was like working in a dungeon. I burnt my eyes twice in that job.

I painted for a living, and I don’t mean canvases. I bagged groceries. I cleaned houses. I worked in a gas station when there was no such thing as “self-serve.” I even wore Olive Drab green to work every morning – when the United States Army says “We do more before 9:00 am then most people do all day” (remember that slogan) believe it. But in the end, it is the bureaucratic mindset that is tough to deal with for so incredibly long. I could write a book – well actually I have.

But all this gives me a chance to bring up a very good point about “The Little Way” – St. Therese’s way to heaven. I have spoken of it in these pages before. That is this: God doesn’t always need someone to perform great tasks. Not everyone is destined to part the Red Sea, stand up against the Roman Empire and become a martyr, or lead French armies against England. Sometimes God just needs someone to clean houses, take care of the elderly, and wipe the occasional butt. Whatever little thing you do, you can still dedicate it to the Glory of God. You can still serve God, by whatever name, in Little Ways. When the sky rolls back, and there sits the Son of Man in all His Divine Glory – you too will hear the words “though good and faithful servant,” even if what you did was help an elderly person wipe there butt, just so long as you did it with the joy of serving God in your heart.

God Bless you all

Sister Julie

*I have no idea where the little avatar at the head of today’s column came from, except to say “author unknown.”

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