Faithful servants just do their job

By Vinal Van Benthem | For The Compass | October 3, 2019

“We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” The first thing I did when I came into the office this morning was call my car dealer’s service department to make an appointment for some routine maintenance. The service manager asked what time would be convenient, set up my appointment and prepared the paperwork so that when I arrive all I’ll have to do is pull into the service bay.

I know absolutely nothing about cars. In the past, taking my car in for service was an embarrassing and uncomfortable task, and I rarely knew the answer to any of the mechanic’s questions. But these days it’s different. My service manager, Todd, is a young man who actually describes my car’s various ills in language that I can understand! And what’s more, he hardly ever laughs at my attempts to describe the strange noise that my car made at home, but which mysteriously stopped as soon as I pulled into the service area. Todd is a good and faithful service manager, and I trust him implicitly. He clearly explains what needs to be done and asks for my approval before going ahead with the work. He charges fairly and understands when I’m a few thousand miles late in getting my car serviced. And he does it all with a smile. It’s obvious that he enjoys his work and, because I trust his judgment, I willingly pay for the service he provides.

Todd has made one of life’s more irksome tasks almost enjoyable simply by doing his job well. He doesn’t ask for any special recognition. In fact, he would probably be the first to tell you that service is his business. He’s just doing his job.
Like Todd, the faithful servants in Luke’s Gospel are just doing their job. But faithful service can sometimes work miracles, and a job done well serves both master and servant. How do we view our work? How do we do the work that we do? Can those we serve trust us to serve them well?

Van Benthem is a longtime pastoral minister in the diocese.

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