I pull out my computer and think to myself, “This is the week before Easter, holy week as some would call it, and I really need to post something.” But as I sit perched on the edge of the chair ready to jump when the dryer buzzer goes off, I can’t seem to focus on Christ’s finished work on the cross or anything else; my mind is too centered on all of the unfinished work in my house and holy week doesn’t feel profound or holy at all.
Thoughts that seem to border between a prayer of complaint and a pity party for myself fill my heart as I think, “I could be a good writer but I NEVER GET TO WRITE!” I look around at my dirty kitchen and wonder why I can’t just ignore the work for a few minutes or maybe even a few hours, but somehow I feel as though I can’t pen my thoughts until all of my ‘duties’ are done as though pouring over words isn’t work worthy of my time and if it brings me pleasure then it must be done only in my ‘spare time’. But who has ‘spare time’ in this fast paced society?
And while I complain, the enemy comes in and uses half-truths to feed my frustrations and fill me with doubt, “You know can’t write anything on your own, anything that you’ve written that has touched someone else has been inspired by the Holy Spirit and if there is no inspiration then maybe this isn’t the ministry God has for you. I listen and agree and the doubts keep coming as I am reminded that I don’t have many blog followers, I don’t have much of a social media presence, I’m terrible at posting on Facebook, I haven’t written a magazine article in months, my book isn’t a best seller – in fact I really haven’t sold very many copies, and the list of my failures rolls out long in my mind filling my heart with discouragement.
As my throat tightens and tears threaten to spill from my watery eyes, I look out the window into the bright spring morning and for a moment my thoughts are interrupted by the beauty of the morning and the wondrous rebirth of spring. Spring comes without any effort on my part and as I remember the finished work that was done for me on the cross, I am also reminded that Christ came – was sent to earth to die, pay the cost, and finish the work of salvation – without any effort on my part.
The work is finished!
Although I am called to obedience and service, obedience and service aren’t work – they are worship! I am reminded of the question I once asked myself a few years ago during another busy season in my life, “Why do you write? And the answer that so quickly came to mind that day, “It is a form of worship.”
And suddenly I am reminded again – my work is my worship!
My writing isn’t some pious form of labor and neither is the work that I do for my family. All work can be my worship! This raising of teenage boys that is much harder and far more time consuming than I imagined, the household service that I do for those who live with me, the laundry, the carrying of mail that pays the bills and provides for my household, and yes, even my writing, all can be an act of worship.
As I think back on my pity party this morning I realize what I was really saying is, “God, I could do more to be noticed and recognized and my words would reach more people if I didn’t have all these other responsibilities and life circumstances to burden my time – if I wasn’t where you’ve put me. I am like the pot saying to the potter, “Why did you make me thus or why did you put me here?
The truth is, I may never be famous or widely read. My words may never reach more than a small handful, and the work I do for those who were born into my household and those who providentially landed here may never be noticed, appreciated, or have any lasting impact on their lives. But if I do all that I do – whatever my hand finds to do or whatever work is placed before me – as an act of worship, then my labors are not in vain.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; Ecclesiastes 9:10a