NOTE: Because my blog is public, I purposely removed any references to the people I work with or to the organization for which I work. This has resulted in some awkward and vague phrasing.  However, most of you know these details and so it shouldn’t be too difficult to fill in the gaps.

As an intern, it is really easy to get lost in the menial tasks and forget about the greater perspective of the organization for which you work.  It’s challenging to see the top when you find yourself on the bottom rungs of the ladder.  My organization is at the forefront of American international relations.  However, this task is split into bureaus and offices, and I often feel lost in the hierarchy as one of thousands of employees.

A few days ago, my supervisor asked me to help with the economic security conference hosted by my organization.  As an escort, my job was to point diplomats and businessmen towards the conference room.  “Good morning. Turn the corner and go through those doors,” I repeated endlessly for an hour and a half.  With each repetition, my eyelids grew heavier and I had to resist the temptation to frequently look at my watch.  However, I had to remind myself that this task was still important.  Besides providing a necessary security check, I was also acting as a face of the United States.  With an improved attitude, my smile widened and I made an effort to really look each person in the eye as I greeted her, asked how she was doing, and pointed her in the right direction.

After the last guest passed by, I headed back upstairs to check in with the conference coordinator.  “Would you like to go down to the conference room and hear the speech [by our boss]?” she asked me.  Elatedly, I headed down the hall, excited to finally meet my boss.  Seeing and hearing my boss for the first time really reinforced the greater perspective for which I had been yearning.  I’m an intern and I do small things, but I’m doing them for a bigger purpose.

Spiritually, I often find myself in the same conundrum and in need of the same perspective change.  I get lost in the details of my own life, feeling small but forgetting that God is big.  This last week, I read Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership and was convicted by his chapter on contemplative prayer.  God knows that we need perspective in order live with joy and hope, and so He calls us to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  Pray when you are suffering; pray when you are euphoric. Pray when you are disoriented; pray when you are confident.

Nevertheless, our self-centered nature makes fervent, continual prayer a difficult discipline.  I’ve been learning a hard lesson:  In order to teach us how to pray continually, God puts us in situations in which we have to pray continually.  In order to discover where God is calling me, I need to pray, pray, pray.  I should pray at my internship and for my internship, living with a prayerful attitude.  I may be small, but I serve a big God who uses my small tasks for bigger purposes.