Thursday, June 30

All in a Day's Work

Read  Psalm 119:137-144

My mom’s job sucks.

No joke, although the pun was totally intended.

As the lead housekeeper at a busy Christian camp, she keeps the place spick and span despite campers’ best efforts to thwart her. There’s mold, bodily fluids, unmentionables left behind… She vacuums and scrubs toilets. Her job is about as far from fulfilling as you can get. Unless you count the clogged toilets.

It's not a dream gig, but she does it. And she does it joyfully--mostly. Some days the joy is harder to come by.

There’s a lot of talk these days about finding your purpose, following your dream, living life to the fullest. Living life to the fullest means finding that one thing that brings you joy and finding a way to make your life revolve around it.

Fulfillment is a wonderful pursuit. Really. I’m not knocking it in the least, but we tend to look for it in all the wrong places.

We neglect our families to find it in the work place. We shirk responsibilities to find it at home. We pursue it in hobby form to financial peril. Obviously these are the extremes, but it happens all the time. All we like Solomon seek in vain for bliss, when all along, its right there, ready for the taking.

The secret to happiness, the key to contentment hides in plain sight.

Solomon says at the end of Ecclesiastes, “Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the whole duty of mankind.”

I think Solomon was tired after writing the book of Ecclesiastes. Who wouldn’t be? It’s an emotionally taxing job writing about stuff that depressing. One would assume that once the light bulb went on, he’d wax a little poetic about it, but he didn’t.

Did he find joy in the revelation? Or did he, like we do when confronted with a reality other than what we imagined or anticipated, furrow his brow in disappointment.

That’s it? The law? Obedience?


Where is the glamour in that? Where is the thrill?

Solomon’s father had already found the answer when he penned Psalm 119. The longest chapter in Bible, it is dedicated entirely to delight found in obedience to God.

I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches. (v14)

I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding. (32)
Am I the only one who has ever trudged in the path of His commands?

I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts. (42)

Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies. (97-98)

Your statutes are wonderful;
therefore I obey them.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple. (129-130)

All your words are true;
all your righteous laws are eternal. (160)

You get the idea.

David found obedience to the Lord a delight, a joy, a consuming passion.

He was a shepherd boy at home in the fields with sheep and nature shoved into the role of warrior when no one would fight and king when no one else would lead. And he found his delight not in his day job, but in the promises of God.

Surely God plants dreams in our hearts. He made us to long for something more.

But He’s it.

At the end, our dreams, our goals, our labor and our intensity must first be directed toward him.

Sometimes he will grant us work that gives meaning, texture and joy to our lives.

Sometimes he will call us to clean up someone else's mess.

He never promised glamour.

He promised abundance through obedience.


Sherri said...

and he promised to walk beside us no matter what he calls us to do, in his presence is Fulness of Joy - not just a little (Ps 16: 11, Heb 13:5) Thanks for re- encouraging me in my calling- I pray it encourages others also.

Sherri said...

Thanks for the re- encouragement. In His presence is fulness of Joy & He is there with us each step of the way (Ps 16: 11, Heb 13:5)

Anonymous said...

I get to give a little blurb on peace (fruit of the spirit) and this post is helpful. I was thinking peace and contentedness in God, but the "fear God and keep his commands--whole duty of man" fits right in too. Thanks!