Friday, July 08, 2011

A Woman's, and probably a Man's, Work is Never Done

Putting off the two giant remaining tasks of the week--sorting through a vast pile of clothes on the floor of my bedroom, and making all this dough into bread. Feel like I've spun my wheels all week and accomplished nothing, although, that is probably not the case. I did do something, just don't remember what it was.

Have been mulling over the whole concept of work all week after this most excellent sermon by Matt. I mean, I know we were designed and created to work but it was nice to be reminded of the root cause of all my futility. So much of my well worn hours are spent doing the same number of tasks over and over and over again only to have to do them again. Feeding, cleaning, feeding again, cleaning, feeding, making food, feeding, cleaning, dropping into bed. Nothing lasts--the food doesn't last, the flowers don't last, the clean doesn't last, the money certainly doesn't. So very very few things are things that we do one time only for complete lasting satisfaction and joy.

Like when I got married--one time, to my complete satisfaction and joy. Watched the video last week and was, for the first time, really grateful that I don't have to do that every day. It was so pretty. Everything went divinely. Had a true look of sincerity and love on my face for fully ten minutes before the sarcasm set back in (you can see it on the video, five minutes into communion when I start mentally making fun of the groomsmen). But in no way do I miss repeating the tasks of that day over and over and over again. Once, for all, as they say about Jesus. It was monumentous to carry over the whole rest of the road of our lives, for me and Matt anyway.

But of course, the circling nature of work, the doing things over and over and over, is what makes life grounded and familiar and real. Its not that we make progress towards anything but that we do those things which we ought to do, however many times they need to be done, and it is God who redeems them and gathers them into something lasting and eternal.

Which is why the work is punctuated with rest. Because if we don't pause for a few minutes we might spin off the road into true futility.

So here is my prayer for the weekend.
From Whittier and after it the only clip I could find that wasn't completely foul.
Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

1 comment:

Jessica Snell said...

"Once, for all, as they say about Jesus." Love this!

Actions that stick, those commitments that are stakes in the ground - they're what hold up the weight of the repetitive work aren't they? And are the reason for it as well.