One, sitting in a group of friends during an arts camp for teens in Finland, enjoying what we’ve decided is the best part of the day: a vibrant conversation peppered with laughter, two languages, convoluted explanations and translations. One guy with an iPad says suddenly, “Sorry I am working.” A small pause and we expect, ‘Please be quiet’ or ‘Can you go away?’ but then he says, “Don’t be offended if I’m not joining in – I need to work, and I want to stay in the middle of this good stuff.”
In a ‘me too’ moment, a musician leaves and returns with laptop and a sheaf of papers. “Yes, I too must work in the middle of good stuff!”
The other: reading the story of Mary and Martha and realising that work is not wrong, or bad, or somehow less. Worry is the problem, that and being consumed by needing to do things, being distracted, not noticing the significant. And, Jesus comes to us, wanting to give; he is not expecting us to do something – anything! – for him. To be, and just to be.
And these two separate things become not so separate in my head. Just be, and just be in the presence of Jesus, and work in the middle of good stuff: good friends, lively conversation, laughter, life crossing cultural barriers and landscapes. Creativity sparked into life because of relationship and foreign ideas and funny translations. In the middle of good stuff, such good stuff.
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