“Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.” – 1 Pet. 5:2

Books to be read, mail to be sorted, laundry to be folded. All around me are piles that need tending. I keep unsubscribing from mailing lists and buying books on my Kindle but those piles keep coming. Each pile represents a delay in making a decision due to time, energy, or just pure procrastination.

My husband tries to help me set up systems to organize things. He organized a file so mail can go straight in that needs attention. He’s tried to help us schedule things on the to-do list so they don’t get bumped by other things that come up. Despite his valiant attempts, I keep stacking the mail on the kitchen counter and shutting the door on the guest room so I don’t have to look at various projects in-process. 

The chair in today’s readings represents the perspective from which each of us views our area of responsibility. As I sit at the kitchen table writing this reflection, my eyes take in all these piles of household chores. My “chair” may not carry the same weight as the chair of St. Peter, but it positions me to respond wholeheartedly to where I am called to serve.

My Lenten practice this year involves embracing reality rather than hanging onto my own way of doing things. I am guilty of doing everything BUT that one thing. Rather than putting off necessary appointments (like the eye doctor), I am trying to tend to my little corner of the world with greater attentiveness and a gentler attitude.

Where is the place in your life where you are challenged to exert the most authority or leadership? I invite you today to sit in that chair: be it an armchair, desk chair, the driver seat of your car. From that physical place ask yourself these three questions from St. Ignatius:

What have I done for Christ?

What am I doing for Christ?

What can I do for Christ?

Today, how can I respond to God’s invitation not in the abstract but in the concreteness of my everyday life?

Jen Coito

Photo Credit: Eli Francis