My students on Monday, Wednesday and Friday often have to suffer through whatever kind of mood I am in. They pretend to do so gladly, and fortunate for their sakes, most days this semester have been great. They have a lot to do with that as they have been an incredibly fun group thus far.
Last week, I found myself exhausted from work. I noticed that all the work involved good things with good people pushing for good progress. We had been looking for and living into signs of the kingdom, and it had all been good. But one evening, the evening before this particular class, I found myself wondering what I was doing, and if it is all worth it anyway.
My mind went back to a conversation I once had with someone questioning the pursuit of the kingdom. “Does it ever get better? Does it ever actually make a difference?” The questions, not ridiculous, come to my mind often if I tell myself the truth. The next question was, “And if it doesn’t ever really get better, why work toward it? All we can do is wait for it. Otherwise, we will get terribly depressed and disappointed, right?”
Back in the present, I found in myself after a great long day of different work in the community wondering what in the world I was doing. The notion that maybe things aren’t getting better seemed to push in harder, and with a particular situation in mind, and I wondered what the point was.
Just before arriving to my classroom the next day to talk to students about the history of faith and efforts toward justice, I ran across this video (below). I knew immediately that I was asking a bad question because I had, as I usually do, turned the situation back to myself. Gravity always pulls me inward, and in its doing, had made me wonder about the worthwhileness of it all. But this piece of work reminded me of the names and faces of people who are changing my world as I walk hand in hand with them toward the kingdom. They are my clients and the families I serve and the communities I work in. They can’t afford to wait, and therefore neither can I. We are the same.
The next time I find myself asking that ridiculous question, I hope I can remember. I showed the video to my students that day in hopes that they will remember also…and that they will hold me accountable to remember as well.