Still work to be done in the city
So it has been awhile since I’ve written a blog entry. I was trying to make sure I wrote at least once a week but I think after writing every day for Advent I went on a bit of an unofficial break. Also I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with work. I remember going home earlier this week (in which I was getting home just before bedtime so Caroline had to feed, clean-up, and get pj’d all 4 kids by herself, and it wasn’t the first or last time that was going to be true in the week) thinking there were several things I hadn’t gotten done at work. Then I thought to myself that sometimes finding balance between work and home life means disappointing both sides. I have weeks like that… sometimes years like that.
In fact I’ve had a couple conversations with people just this week about feeling overwhelmed about the work they have ahead (clearly I’m not alone). The scope and magnitude of what we have to do can be too much to contemplate. I was reminded of the song from which I pulled my blog title (you can find it here: http://youtu.be/d61LamkXfwk) and that there is always work, great work but lots of it, to be done. And sometimes I need to stop looking at the big vision and just plug away with what needs to be done today (maybe with a heads up moment now and then to make sure I’m on track). This reminds me of one of my favorite inspirations from scripture.
If we read the creation story from Genesis 1 (the first of two back to back stories Genesis offers us) we get the well-known version with six days of creation followed by the seventh day in which God rests – Sabbath. What we often skip over is that God actually sabbathed each day. The story doesn’t give us one hurried continuous act of erupting creative activity. Each day God does one thing (sometimes that one thing is pretty monumental, but still one activity). God creates light, separates it out from darkness (what a wonderful thought to stop and play with but maybe another day) and names them Day and Night. And then God does something amazing. God decides that’s enough for today. God pops God’s head up to make sure that this particular activity lines up with the whole vision, sees that it does and calls it a good day and is done.
What?? You haven’t finished the project? We have a timeline here… there is so much work to be done. You can’t possible decide that is all you are going to do. I mean come on God, let’s. get. serious.
But God is serious, that’s it. Day over, we still have tomorrow. And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Because God has set up God’s working process. Creativity and nurturing new life isn’t work to be rushed. And life is more than work, life is enjoyment, rest, fun, mental health days, and recreation, and yes its trying to bathe four crazy kids, cleaning up throw up, and fixing the paint one of them has decided to peal of the walls of your rental house (not that this happened or anything but seriously I’ve got a challenging job of matching some paint color ahead of it if perhaps it did…), and its having (making) the time to really hear how your family is doing, and share the burdens and joys of your spouse and your friends. Life is more than work, and if our work replaces our living rather than supports it we have lost track of the long term vision – we are using the wrong marker for “on track.”
Life is a whole mix of things beyond simply work. And we can lose perspective on all that. I will tell myself that I love what I do so it’s not work – it’s living my passion. But still. I need to check out from time to time. In fact it appears I need to check out daily. I need to say, yes there is work to be done – but there always will be – and for today, what’s done is good and that is enough.
Does this mean I’ll always make it home for dinner? No. Does this mean that sometimes a basketball game will take precedence over a church meeting? Yes. Will I have weeks where I feel like putting up a cot at work? I will even call it good. But I will also have (and already have had) those weeks I just leave early and go sledding with the kids. And what I will hope is that is all finds some easy sustainable rhythm that sounds a lot like: And I looked at the day and I saw that it was good, and there was evening, and there was morning, another day.