In talking to thousands of leaders, I’ve discovered that the vast majority speak of a dreaded hour of the day that begins to roll in on their minds like an unwanted tide.
For marketplace leaders it is somewhere between 4:00pm and 5:00pm on Sunday afternoon. This is the precise time where their minds begin to surface back into a sobered reality about work. In just a few hours, this weekened will all be over. In just a few hours, all that I have done that was fun, life-giving and extra-ordinary will now, for sure, morph into my work. Work is the place where they most do NOT want to be on a Sunday afternoon when the family is around and the sun is still shining and there’s still time to call a friend over for a quick grilled hamburger.
Yet it is work that calls.
Maunday Thursday is a day of mourning because for Jesus, his work was calling him. The Bible biographers all agree that they witnessed Jesus, himself slipping away into what may have been a forlorn star; a far off country that he was thinking about; all that he would have to endure in the next 24 hours. He sweated his most dreaded day out. He could not sleep. His companions became something less than desirable companions–because they could not enter his agony. They slept and Jesus wept; begged God for something different; even desired a different outcome all together. But in the end, he did what working people do. He set his face like flint and finished his work.
Thursday of Holy Week reminds us of the dread that is ahead. The dread of an unfinished life; the scorn of ridicule; the unjustices of our lives that will go unnoticed and even untouched. The Thursdays of our lives are when we face our most dreaded moments: the doctors pathology report which will come tomorrow–not today. We will have to remain under the pressure–get the nerve up to face this day and face tomorrow–no matter what the outcome.
No matter what the outcome… That’s a Thursday for us. And it was the same for our dear friend Jesus. No matter what the outcome he lived into Friday when the worst would happen. But deep down he knew something that every working person must also know: the worst is never the worst.