Lent is half over. It’s hard to believe, but Easter will soon be here. Perhaps, then, this a good time to evaluate how Lent is going for us. Are we truly making use of this “acceptable time”, this time of grace to grow closer to the Lord? Are we praying more, fasting in a meaningful way, and being more generous with others? Or is Lent sliding by with hardly a change in what we do day by day, or more importantly, in our attitudes toward God and others? One thing we might do is to examine how Lent affects us in our place of work.
Contrary to a popular misconception, work is not the result of the sin of our first parents. Rather work was intended by God for us as a way of participating in the ongoing creation of the world. For example, Adam was given the task of naming the animals and tending the garden. The result of sin was that work became a strain and even at times drudgery. Yet it is still part of our human vocation. Most of us spend a lot of time doing it and it presents us with daily opportunities to be “the salt of the earth and the light of the world” as the Lord requests. Here are a few suggestions on how to live Lent at our work.
1. When you ask someone how their weekend went, take a breath and truly listen to their response with real interest.
2. When the copy machine jams, don’t slip away to use a different copier. Take the time to fix the jam so that the next user is spared the aggravation of dealing with it.
3. Initiate a friendly chat with the co-worker you like the least. Praise the best qualities you see in that person and try to get to know her or him better on a personal level.
4. Honestly ask what your company has a right to expect of you each day and compare that with what you actually do. Is there a significant gap and what do you need to do to close it?
Intentions are everything here. We want to show our love to Christ by strengthening our will by doing His will and by creating good will around us. The workplace provides us a built in opportunity to spread God’s kingdom, to be the “leaven in the dough”. Our faith can’t be limited to only some areas of our life. It must permeate everything, including our work. Lent is a time to make sure this is happening.