Mike DeSalvo ‘16, ’18 M.Ed.
From the moment I opened my eyes, I could tell it was going to be a long day. I hadn’t finished preparing lesson materials for my students the night before. Instead of waking up early, I slept past my alarm and awoke to my roommate’s call as he left. I rushed to take a quick shower, but another roommate called me to move my car. I grumpily threw on clothes and made a comment about how the car shouldn’t have been there anyway.
My frustration was growing as I continued to get ready. An endless to-do list flowed through my head as I hastily got dressed for work and packed my bag. I jumped in the car, already leaving well after my normal time, and turned on the radio.
My attempt at momentary respite from the stress was interrupted by a phone call from my best friend, however. I answered his call with my hands-free device. We’d missed the chance to talk in the few weeks during the hectic beginning of the new semester, and we were both struggling through a variety of challenges.
After a few minutes of updates, we invited God into our conversation and began praying for one another and the difficulties we were encountering. I arrived at school with an open heart and a clear head, ready to focus and make the most of the day. Had I followed my normal routine, I probably wouldn’t have had this moment of grace.
“There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile…it is what comes out of a person that defiles.” Each of us is created in God’s image and likeness, and God continues to call us to share in the kingdom. None of the challenges we face or the difficulties we encounter can revoke that invitation.
As Jesus explains in this passage, it is our responses, our choices, that can challenge God’s calling for us. It is only by relying on God’s grace and allowing God to interrupt our schedules that we may share in Christ’s mission to build the kingdom.
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