I spent the morning clearing out milkweed and baby pine trees around the horse barn, stables, and fence. Just me and a bush axe. By noon I was drenched, sore, and dirty. My hands were bleeding. I wanted water.
Work refocuses me on the importance of living in the present moment — seizing the day — following the example of my patron saint, Expedite, whose whole message amounts to being a Christian in the here and now.
I’ve been reading Dorothy Day’s The Long Loneliness for the past two weeks. She goes on about the dignity of man and the holiness of labor.
Christ was a worker. His first followers were fishermen.
When the Christian finds God in the menial, he sanctifies his labor and makes it a participation in the life of Christ.
I’ve probably learned more about the Benedictine motto ora et labora – prayer and work — in this one month at Camp Monroe than I have in two years at Belmont Abbey.
Camp Monroe is amazingly unique. It’s nature and people meeting. It’s the counselors struggling to get by, and it’s hot and occasionally thankless labor. It’s the sometimes sickeningly sentimental attempt to share our faith in Jesus Christ with the campers. And it’s ultimately learning to trust that seeds are planted along the way.