At Mass a couple of weeks ago, we heard St. Paul talk about how difficult it is for married people to stay focused on their spiritual lives and their love of God. He urged his readers to act as if they weren’t married, meaning that they ought to think first of God the way single people are able. Married people, St. Paul laments, are more concerned with worldly things and their spouses.
And lately, I’ve really been smacked upside the head with this fact.
I’ve been working part-time as a waitress since last June, and it’s been tough in a number of ways. I have less time with my family, specifically with Nathan. I have had to let go of the idea of keeping the kind of home I’ve kept for the last 13-or-so years. I’ve had to delegate chores that I used to be able to handle on my own (and often deal with them being done differently than I would do them because I’m a crazy control freak sometimes).
And the biggest stumbling block for me of all: I’ve had to learn how I can live my faith and be out in the world where living it as intensely as I’ve done in the past is … kind of strange sometimes.
This isn’t to say that anyone I work with is hostile – far from it! But I’m still definitely a little different, from being one of only a handful of Catholics to being the only Lay Dominican to the fact that I pray a Rosary while I wrap silverware because I wanted to sanctify the tedious task.
I have tried (and very, very often failed) to love everyone I encounter at work: coworkers, managers, customers … And I have learned that it’s much easier to love everyone when you get to be homemaker and not be out with everyone in the world. It’s easier said than done to love the person who’s irritating you at work so badly that you kind of want to punch them within five minutes of clocking in. It’s much easier to talk in platitudes about showing the love of Christ to each customer than when you’re waiting on someone who tells you he won’t be tipping you because the kitchen messed up an order (even when they did it as the customer asked).
It’s a lot easier to write about love in theory than it is to put it into practice Every. Single. Day.
Aside from the financial boost I’ve given my family through this ongoing adventure in waitressing, I’ve also gained a great appreciation for my husband’s faith and the way in which he lives it each and every day.
He’s been working all of these years, and has learned to show that love to people. He’s learned how to balance his faith with working with people who might be making his life difficult. He’s had to live a life of faith even when he’s the only one doing something like fasting and abstaining when people are bringing in Valentine’s Day treats to his office.
I’ve gained even more respect for Nathan than I’ve had in the past just because I’ve been struggling so badly with my own faith life for the last few months.
If you’re blessed to work in an environment that’s infused with your Catholic faith, give thanks for that! If you’re been more blessed to be home and able to live that life 24-7 in a hidden way, give thanks!
And say a prayer for those of us who are struggling to be Christ to others when frustrations run high.