I'm sitting in my apartment, with a batch of banana muffins just out of the oven and hot coffee. It snowed a little last night but the sun is shining brightly today, quickly melting away any trace. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't particularly care for winter. It's lovely on Christmas day but other than that I'm not interested-ha. As long as I can remember, its been like this but something is shifting this year. I am actually not so vehemently opposed to the pretty white stuff and as weird as this is to admit, I was a little disappointed it didn't snow the 6 inches that were promised last night!
At church this morning, we studied Ecclesiastes 2:17-26. The author, King Solomon, has been highlighting, over the last chapter and a half, the things in this world that we strive for only to find lack of fulfillment or disappointment. Our culture has pushed forward this idea that money, work and busyness are the mark of success and respect.
How many times have I said "life is so busy right now" or even commented on "how busy work is" as if that should elevate me to some respected status. What we're really trying to communicate is, 'my life is full, therefore I am a productive member of society.' There seems to be correlation between how much we work we do and how busy we are with productivity and accomplishment.
My, how I have fallen prey to this! Just this weekend, I can recount 3 conversations I had revolving around how busy the fall has been with work and how I even have to do some work today (my day off) because "there is so much to do!"
Now I don't want to negate this entire concept. The reality is that life IS busy and work CAN BE really busy...yet we need to stop with the GLORIFICATION of busy. There is something on Pinterest circling around right now that says just that...
We have to work to live. That is the simple reality of it all, but how we approach our work is where we can go drastically wrong. In Genesis 2:15 it says, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." God created man to work. Work is good and a way to live out the responsibility God has graciously entrusted us with, towards the earth and our families. King Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 "A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?" This attitude of work being a gift from God so we can provide for those we love, should be at the center of what we do. It is to be our vocation, in order to meet needs, not simply a job to elevate our status in the world's eyes. Frederich Beuchner says, "Vocation is where our greatest passion meets the world's greatest need."
When we get caught up in the busyness of work either from a lack of perspective or a lack of prioritization, it becomes toil. It isolates us from people in our lives because we simply don't have time or don't MAKE time for them. "There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. 'For whom as I toiling?' he asked, 'and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?' This too is meaningless-a miserable business!" (Ecc 4:8)
In the Hebrew language, there are far fewer words than we have in our English language. They use the same words for several concepts/meanings. Interestingly enough, the same word is used to convey these three concepts: toil, wealth, sorrow. Pretty telling, huh?! "What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?...even at night his mind does not rest." (Ecc 2:22-23) "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless." (Ecc 5:10) Toil and wealth can often lead to sorrow if we don't have proper perspective.
How is it that we've gotten so busy that we don't have time for those we love? How is that we've gotten to comfortable in our busyness, to reach out to someone in need or to simply meet a new friend? How is it that our schedules are so full that if something unexpectedly comes up, we can't always make room to be available? It seems as though we are inadvertently edging out the thing we desire the most: friendship, community in Christ and love. These things are only possible if we quit insulating ourselves from the world around us, using our schedules as an excuse.
So on this sunny, snowy Sunday perhaps it's as simple as finding someone to share my muffins with...
I took a few days off in October for a long, birthday weekend and it was great! I was supposed to be in Seattle helping to open the new Room and Board showroom but they were ahead of schedule...so I got cancelled. I was bummed not to have that great experience and, of course, to not see my friends but it was yet another example of God's sovereign wisdom.
Not going allowed for so many things to happen that couldn't have:
-I needed the time at work for planning. This is my absolute busiest time and I would not have made my deadline without that time to work.
-I had 2 more weekends with Sister before she left for Africa! That was absolutely invaluable. :)
So I drove down to the Springs on Thursday night, very excited to be home for a few days. On Friday, Mom, Sister and I went thrift shopping and simply enjoyed the day together. The evening was filled with family dinner, a couple rounds of Rummikub, and a movie.
Saturday, Sister and I did some errands for Africa and we all went to the CC hockey game that night! We love hockey! It was great to see at least one game with Sister before she left. Thankfully, hockey has a long season, so we'll have plenty of games to go to after her return at the end of January. I love this photo!
Monday was my actual birthday and I was able to see a couple friends throughout the day. It happened to be gorgeous weather so I stole down to The Garden for a few minutes to myself between appts. Look at that view! You can't ask for anything more beautiful in mid/late October. Stunning. I love this park!
Sister and I wandered through Manitou that afternoon, stopping for ice cream of course!
Posted by em at 10:37 PM