The Third Station: The Work You Have Given Us To Do
March 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
My favorite movie line is from Julie & Julia. Julia Child, as played by Meryl Streep, asks her husband: “But what I am going to do?” Streep elongates the “do-oooooooooo” in her line, making it sound like both a release of frustration and a petition for help.
The beginning of Julie & Julia shows us Julia Child’s struggle to find herself and her calling. She tries playing bridge with the other wives, but doesn’t have much fun. Six foot two inch tall Julia tucks into a tiny Parisian workshop to learn how to make hats, but doesn’t like that either. Julia just doesn’t fit in. Then at age 37 she tries a cooking class — and we know the rest of her story.
Like Julia Child, like all of us really, I wonder all the time about what I am here to do. How can I best use my abilities to help other people? What does being a Christian obligate me to do? How can I make the world a better place?
This is what comes to mind when I stare at the challenging Third Station: The Cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene. Simon is suddenly pulled from the crowd to serve Jesus. He takes up the cross and carries it just behind Jesus, according to three Gospel accounts. Right on the spot, Simon has his calling. Now he knows what he’s here to do. The Gospels do not tell us if Simon volunteered to carry the cross, or if the Roman soldiers guarding Jesus forced Simon to help. This anonymous man finds himself yanked into the center of the story and responds as best as he can.
Please pray with me:
Dear God, hear our questions this Lent. Help us to uncover the mystery of our callings. What are we supposed to do? Will we discover our callings slowly or will you suddenly pull us from the crowd and compel us to try a new thing? We pray that we will hear you and be ready to do the work you have given us to do.
We pray today especially for the people of Lybia as the U.S. continues military action there. Simon’s ancient town of Cyrene is in present day Lybia.
– Chris Phillips