“The Island”

I just watched the Russian film “The Island.”  The main character is an old sailor (Fr. Anatoli) who washed up upon the shore of a remote Russian monastery.  He’s a bit of a fool for Christ but people visit him to be healed, to the vexation of some of the more conventional monks on the island.  The best scene is the one where Fr. Anatoli nearly chokes his abbot to death with a smokey fire to show him that his (the abbot’s) life is choked with many comforts. The great thing was that the abbot got the message and thanked him.   Fr. Anatoli heals people and even casts out a demon, using only the prayers that we all say every night from our own prayer books.  We all can be Fr. Anatoli.

Fr. Anatoli’s job at the monastery was hauling coal, using a delapidated wheelbarrow.  He did this as unto the Lord. It reminded me of the book An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina. This is the book upon which the movie “Hotel Rwanda” was based.  Paul R. saved over 1000 souls from the Rwandan Genocide by being a good hotel manager. When asked about his bravery he always replied “I’m just a hotel manager.” 

I think we spend a lot of time worrying what God’s will is for us.  Do people still use that old evangelistic come-on “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life?”  How much time has been wasted trying to discern what God’s will is for our lives?  Just do the job you have to the glory of God and you will be in His will- no need to search further.  Pray, worship, and love your neighbor and you will be in God’s will, even if your job is hauling coal or managing a hotel.  As Blessed Augustine said- Love God and do what you want.