I had a nice, long post all planned, and then, as these things often go, I found something that says it better and more succinctly than I ever could. Thanks to Sannion of The House of Vines for originally posting this. Although it is written from a distinctly Christian perspective, as a non-cloistered Pagan nun who often struggles with unrelated distractions, I take a great deal of comfort in it.
Stick with your work
Stick with your work.
Do not flinch because the lion roars.
Do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs.
Do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits.
Do your work.
Let liars lie.
Let sectarians quarrel.
Let critics malign.
Let enemies accuse.
Let the devil do his worst.
But see to it nothing hinders you from fulfilling with joy the work God has given you.
He has not commanded you to be admired or esteemed.
He has never bidden you defend your character.
He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood (about yourself)
which Satan’s or God’s servants may start to peddle,
or to track down every rumor that threatens your reputation.
If you do these things, you will do nothing else.
You will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.
Keep at your work.
Let your aim be as steady as a star.
You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered,
wounded and rejected, misunderstood, or assigned impure motives;
You may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends,
and despised and rejected of men.
But see to it with steadfast determination,
with unfaltering zeal,
that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being
until at last you can say, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.”