Although Jesus is talking to his disciples about social power dynamics, I am drawn to thinking about this passage as it relates to the internal dynamics between various "parts" of ourselves. So often we have a dominant mode of relating, whether it be as a clear thinker or a deeply emotional person or perhaps as someone who is innovative and creative or strong and solid. Whatever it may be, as we are confronted with experiences of failure, loss, grief or any challenge we don't feel able to handle, we find that our habitual way of being just doesn't work anymore.
The more we try to take charge, to make people or situations conform to our will, the more we find ourselves stranded in a wasteland of futility and isolation. When we are able to disengage from our ego's stranglehold and surrender to "not knowing" the answer, we often find an unexpected solution that feels filled with a grace that comes from deeply within and beyond us.
This happens in many folktales where the "hero" turns out to be the youngest son or daughter, unskilled, young, foolish and naïve, who has no clue as to how he or she is going to find the way through perils and dangers to attain the treasure needed to heal the woes of the community. Only by dogged perseverance, faith, and "wasting time" in being always kind and helpful to those seemingly unimportant people and creatures encountered along the way, did these humble heroes accomplish their seemingly impossible task.
Perhaps, we too need to pay attention to the parts of ourselves that we usually dismiss as unimportant; ways of being that we undervalue and don't feel we should "waste time" on. Perhaps this Lent, we can practice listening long enough to hear the still small voice in our soul that has served us so long without recognition and give our attention and energy to discerning what these humble promptings are calling us towards as we enter the Lenten space of shedding what no longer serves.