If you’ve ever had to work on a project with someone, you know that it doesn’t always go well.

Oh, sometimes it does — but more often than not it seems that things don’t go that smoothly when other people are involved. And the reasons are many. Sometimes the other person is lazy and not willing to do his or her fair share. Sometimes the other person has different ideas as to how the work is to be done. But for me, there is one particular issue that seems to come up time and time again when I’m working with someone else. It just seems that so often I find myself totally frustrated and muttering under my breath,“I wish he’d just get out of my way and let me do the work myself.”

Have you ever felt that way? Be honest.

Maybe it’s the project at work that would have gotten done in half the time if you were left alone. Maybe it was a simple task around the house that was anything but. Maybe it was the party that was all of a sudden being planned by 10 people when one person would and could have handled it easily.

Sometimes we just need someone to get out of our way so we can do the job. If only other people would stop getting in my way.

When it comes to matters of faith, when it comes to doing whatever we can to please our loving God, when it comes to making the world the beautiful place God created it to be, other people are not the problem — often we are. For we live in an achievement kind of society.

“If you want something done right, do it yourself,” we hear people say. And yet, in faith, we believe something entirely different.

In faith we believe that every good thing comes from God. That includes every single good thing you do, and every single good thing I do. And because of that, one of the most important and faithful things we can ever do is to simply get out of God’s way.

That’s important for two somewhat obvious reasons.

First, it means that we don’t get to take credit for the good that we do. But the truth is, if we do something good, it is because God did something good THROUGH us. When we keep that idea in front of us it can do nothing but keep us humble and grateful.

Secondly, it also means that no good thing should seem impossible. How can we possibly do God’s work? After all, he is God and WE ARE NOT.

But that’s the whole point. Once we realize that it is our God who is doing the work, God who is accomplishing it through us — the impossible suddenly begins to seem a little more possible. Our limitations don’t matter as much. The power and goodness comes from God — a power and goodness which can move mountains and everything else too.

The burden is not on our shoulders alone. God is carrying it with us.

God knows that best way forward. And God knows what this world needs and how to bring it about. He just wants one thing from us: Let’s be sure to get out of God’s way.

Deacon Stuart Neslin is a Parish Deacon and Parish Administrator at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rome.

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