In honor of International Women’s Week, Lee University hosted a special liturgical service in its chapel on Tuesday, kicking off the week’s activities with Dr. Catherine Mantooth as special guest …
In honor of International Women’s Week, Lee University hosted a special liturgical service in its chapel on Tuesday, kicking off the week’s activities with Dr. Catherine Mantooth as special guest speaker.
The service began with singing by the Ladies of Lee, along with multiple prayers and readings from the Old Testament and the New Testament. Mantooth eventually took the stage and took the opportunity to praise Lee’s musical prowess and the beautiful new Lee University Chapel.
“I feel the most comfortable in a liturgical service. And to be speaking at chapel, in THIS chapel, just makes me feel like God has put a button on the end of a journey I’ve been on. God has given you a button today,” Mantooth said.
Mantooth is a senior lecturer at Lee in theater and serves as theater technical director as well. She went on to explain that for a light designer such as herself, putting a button on something means to make something stand out or signify something, such as changing a spotlight’s color to indicate to the audience that it’s time for applause.
“It is time for me to acknowledge all that God has done in my life recently, and God knows all about buttons because he’s a light designer. You think he’s just a carpenter? First He created the heavens and the earth, then the light and the dark, and it was good!” Mantooth said.
She then read from Isaiah 61, and explained how the biblical scriptures are describing a significant amount of work, very much like what all Lee students are facing at the moment in their classes and lives. Combining classwork with part or full-time jobs and family and friend obligations makes for a stressful mixture that could easily overwhelm anyone.
Women, she noted, are typically burdened with even more stressors than normal, including childcare, finances, dishes, laundry and grocery shopping.
Burnout is something that too much work can lead to, she said, and then explained how she at one time had overworked herself to the point of nearly resigning from Lee.
“I’m personally coming out of a time of deep professional burnout. I couldn’t catch my breath, and I know some of you know that feeling. Sometimes some of you will do everything you’re supposed to do just the way you’re supposed to do it, and you’ll still just be sick of it all,” Mantooth added.
She referenced a verse in John 16 in which Christ’s disciples ask, “What does He mean that He’ll see us in a little bit?” As an example of a time even His disciples were confused and uncertain about the path they needed to take despite living with Christ for years.
“Just because you walk beside Him doesn’t mean you have to understand,” she said.
According to Mantooth, God knows that humans will get frustrated and burn out, that we’ll be overwhelmed by our lives at times, yet this is where faith in Him comes into play. In the midst of burnout, when all things feel impossible, He arranges comfort for us, despite our lack of understanding.
She emphasized how each person, woman and man, matters to God, and that those who are questioning what He wants you to do should just sit back, relax and know that He is working on you right now.
Following Mantooth’s speech, the Lord’s Supper was conducted by Dr. Lisa Milligan Long and a closing hymn concluded the first installment of several for International Women’s Week.
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