I was reading from John 4 yesterday morning. (Actually, a few years ago) It’s a story I’ve read often and written about, a story about a Samaritan woman that Jesus talked with. They talk, he reveals more knowledge about her than anyone but a prophet should have. She runs to invite the people from her community to see Jesus.
While he’s waiting, the disciples ask him if he wants some of the food they brought from the town the woman was running toward. He says he’s already got food. They don’t understand.
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” (John 4:34)
After I read that in the morning, I walked through a hectic day. At the end, I looked back to see what made it so hectic. I realized that I had introduced expectations that made conversations with important people feel like interruptions. I started a project which wasn’t nearly as important as a couple of emails would have been, and which created frustration that will linger for a couple more days while I try to solve a problem.
Jesus took sustenance from listening to God’s directions and accomplishing God’s work. Not committing to things that merely seemed good, not filling time for the sake of having it filled. Hearing the will, carrying out the work.
Jesus isn’t alone in this focusing. Nehemiah stuck with his “great work“. Paul focused and refocused on his “one thing“. For each it was a process. It took discernment. But weighing our actions and thoughts and priorities against a standard of “God’s work” matters. I’m not talking about “church work”. This isn’t about ministry programs. But accomplishing God’s work be about people and obedience and compassion and focus and self-sacrifice. And listening before deciding what God wants.