Over the past few weeks weariness seemed an added tax, one that generated excuses to “not quite get things done”. Moving two daughters, assisting my landlord, who struggles with cancer and leg issues, in renting my place, getting my move organized, dealing with apparently countless address change requirements, keeping up with mowing responsibilities – man, I was tired! Even the nothing I had to do one day had to be completed the next. So, I took a break, decided to not do a couple things and get the perspiration off my brow so to speak. I let writing slide for a Sunday, brain work I felt I could let slip.
As my custom dictates, I re-read my little bulletin entries before service starts each Sunday. A last check to locate mistakes, to find spots where the “sense” gets lost in the verbiage. Two Sundays ago, I didn’t have one to review, that week I seemed so tired and dearly required a break from ‘work’. On September 16, our return to two services, I grabbed a bulletin and plopped in the customary back pew for that quick scan. The entire first paragraph offered a horrible mess of duplication, run-on sentences, and resulting “what did I say?” Embarrassed at the puzzlement fellow Christians would soon absorb, I set the bulletin aside and planned to sneak out right after the sending at worship end. I held a quick chat seeking God’s pardon. How could I pass on such a display of careless attention to faith detail?
I took another look.
To my amazement, the paragraph of shame read perfectly, no miss-mash of nonsensical utterings carelessly put to paper. All was well. Had my brain played a massive trick of perception? Had God blessedly fixed it? A dream? Am I visiting crazy…? I shook my head hoping to clear any remaining cobwebs. The Gospel lesson ended, the sermon began. I recognized an evolving metaphor to explain the baptismal cross marked on infants’ foreheads. Specifically, the anecdote of a young, about to become pastor’s trip to Stillwater Prison in Minnesota. The ‘stamp’ that cannot be seen, but remains always until the light of Christ’s return brings it to our joyful eyes. My imagination ran with thinks. A bit of neon flickering in one of my brain caverns the This Little Light of Mine song brought to focus. Perhaps faith should not be considered work from which I might choose to take a break. That crack in the door allows a quick flood of “now that wasn’t so bad was it? Just a week off…sure, folks asked why no writing, they missed it. Big deal…needed a break, a rest….” Had the inspiration perspiration washed off that forehead cross and I would stay in this place?
The idea became insistent that God’s work, Our hands does not really mean we take on His job. We pray for ourselves and others, provide mission opportunities, reach out with the hand of God’s peace, bring offerings, use our talents – all of this and more done in faith response to Christ. ALL of our responses God-given to be shared. I don’t have to do a lot of “work”. God did that in the providing. I need only “see” the blessing and take the response step. Oh, sure, sometimes the moving forward, some leadership, the business of the God’s house, the upkeep gets arduous. But there’s the Shakespearean rub: God’s work, our hands and we need to put that task fulfillment right back in God’s hands for guidance, for the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and for the assurance through prayer that our humanly choices are His will. I do not receive a weekly dump-load of dutiful musing to get onto a page. God gave a talent, gives thoughts, and I push some keys and share. Faith. Satan gets involved when I see God’s work as my work. That chap generates a seeming perspiration that requires a break. Faith. Close the crack.
I’ll get back to moving now, the boxes, the insurmountable mass of nearly 50 years of stuff to be whittled yet again. From that, I can take a sit. But from the joy found in faith, my sit can be at the keyboard. That’s something I CAN do without tiring – share blessings. I will never figure out that paragraph change, but I do recognize if I visited crazy, I didn’t stay too long.
submitted by Dave Smith