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What simple tasks can you do today?

October 30, 2018
By Jodie Rubenzer, Spiritual Growth and Discipleship
 
What simple task can you do today?
To do lists!  Vibrations, ringtones, message pings all vying for our attention; reminders of tasks we should or need to attend to.  We move hastily from one assignment to another “checking off” what we’ve accomplished.  But, in our quest to complete, what have we missed along the way?
What if we looked at all these “assignments” as opportunities; as moments to encounter the Divine, enter the Mystery, or perhaps to put ourselves in “direct contact with God”.  What if we viewed each encounter as an opportunity to make our difference in the kingdom?
Today in my reading I was introduced to St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J., a saint who lived from 1533 – 1617, and as a lay brother spent 45 years serving as a doorkeeper at a Jesuit school.  His story went on to say that he “exerted great influence on Jesuits and lay people who came to know him.” 1.   This just struck me.  A simple task of minding the door became an opportunity for this man to extend hospitality and welcome, to all whom he encountered.  This image of doorkeeper has prompted me to ponder more, the metaphor of “doorkeeper” and how well do I open the door of hospitality and care to all that I encounter?
There are no tasks too small or unimportant.  I think the key to understanding these tasks begins with gratitude.  Gratitude for all that we embody and possess, and the action of bringing this to our homes, families, communities and workplaces.  Once we are able to reflect and accept our gifts, we then begin to understand how these gifts and actions have a way of becoming instruments of God’s peace, mercy, joy and courage in our own little corners of the world. 
So for today and the rest of this week especially, how will the pings and vibrations of your phone and mine offer us the chance to encounter God?
Maybe today, it means being grateful for the barista who offers you your favorite coffee drink handing to you the much needed gift of  comfort after being up most of the night with a sick child.
Give thanks for the mechanic who keeps your car running allowing you for today to be with a friend experiencing her last chemo treatment.
Being ever-so-mindful in my moment of hunger and wonder (what will I fix for dinner tonight?) of those who may not have food to eat this night and the ability and resources I have to prepare a warm dinner for my family. 
Receive with warmth, the smile shared with me,  from the stranger who passes by on the street.  Making me aware that in that brief encounter, of our connectedness and the simple and yet profound ways we offer Christ’s love and compassion each and every day. 
“The more we are able to celebrate the small miracles of daily life, the more we realize the very personal action of God in our daily living.” 2.
 
 
 
 
 
  1.  (An Ignatian Book of Days)
  2.   ( Eucharistic Adoration, Reflections in the Franciscan Tradition)
Pat says:
November 02, 2018 08:33 AM CST
Jodie, a few weeks ago in a brief conversation one night in the gathering area at church, you took the time to murmur a few words of encouragement that revealed an understanding of how trying these past months have been for me. It was a "simple task," but one that touched me greatly. Thank you for living what you espouse.