Checking the numbers isn’t being productive. It’s finding out, maybe, whether the work you already did has been productive.
I say, “Maybe”, because the numbers you check may not be the best measure of productivity. So the numbers tell A story, but not necessarily the right story.
Productivity in this moment, for me, means thinking about how one Sunday, this Sunday, the sixth Sunday in Lent, the Sunday before Easter, has two readings.
First, there are the Palm Sunday readings. A story about a donkey whose location may have been predicted by Jesus or may have been arranged by Jesus.
Jesus sent two of his followers into a little town near Jerusalem. “There will be a colt,” he said. “Untie it and bring it,” he said, providing specific directions. “If anyone asks, tell them it’s for the Lord,” he said, preparing them.
They went. The colt was where he said. The question was what he said. The result was as he said.
I know it’s a tiny thing, but I’m curious. Was Jesus at that moment predicting things, showing that he really did know everything? Or had Jesus arranged these things? Knowing that he had friends in Bethany (Mary and Martha and Lazarus), knowing that we don’t know every conversation he had, it’s just as likely that he arranged this. The bystanders may well have been questioning the disciples because they knew that this donkey had been reserved through rent-a-colt.
Arranging doesn’t undermine a sense of who Jesus was. A capacity to know isn’t necessarily greater than a capacity to plan. Planning would mean that he cared about what was happening, that he had a colt to ride on the way to Jerusalem, which was his due according to an ancient prophecy. He wasn’t making things up as he went along.
The crowd with their palms and their cheers, then, were a response to his presence, to the little glimpse of glory they saw.
A collection of prayers and reflections from the last year is now available as God. We Still Need You.