Saturday, August 11, 2012

Work While you Work . . . .

I set out this week to write about the new school year and how all our school books came in and we’re ready to begin. But, while working around the house this morning another thought struck me . . . as I reflect on the past year I am amazed by how much I’ve learned. Oh yes, my babies learned and learned and learned some more and it is awesome to watch those little sponges soak in everything this marvelous creation has to reveal to them, but truly I am amazed by what I learn as their teacher. 

Last Friday I scrubbed the house down well and we’ve managed to keep the chaos to a low roar so I didn’t think I needed to do the cleaning job I did last week. I thought, “Well, I’ll just wipe down a few things and be done.” And you know what I discovered? This little poem we learned in school last year (and that I quote to my babies probably too often) is correct about life in so many ways. 

                                Work while you work.
                                Play while you play;
                                This is the way to be happy each day.
                                All that you do, do with your might.
                                Things done by halves
                                Are never done right.

The best part is that if you just do the work, often the job is easier and takes less time. In my morning wipe down I realized that the “easy” cleaning wipes were causing me to work twice as hard as if I’d just cleaned the bathrooms the way I normally do.

The Preacher working very hard!
I suppose that, yes, I should know this life lesson. I suppose that I should have learned at least this easy one by now. But, no. I am finding that it’s only been in the last few years that I am really learning and growing and acting like the adult I’m supposed to be. Too much of my life I’ve spent playing . . . I’ve played because playing is more fun, because it’s what I wanted to do, and because I wanted to avoid work. But the truth is - work is the life, the real life in which we all want to live and find joy. We forget that it’s only when we’ve exhausted ourselves in work that true play and relaxation and refreshment can take place. Without the work all is hedonism and there is no joy in hedonism.

I am reminded that God, in his graciousness, has set work before us; to both empty and fill. There are few areas in life that bring more genuine satisfaction than a job well done. The Bible reminds us in 2 Thessalonians that if a man doesn’t work, then he shouldn’t eat, but also shows us again and again the precept that hard work is an acceptable gift to the Lord. I am thankful that my Heavenly Father has seen fit to teach me and given me a spirit of willingness to learn so I’ll not waste more years on seeking the futility that is pleasure for pleasure’s purpose. And next time I am tempted to take the easy route, I’ll remember the poem I taught my children, the one that is teaching my own spirit the importance of working well.


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