Another Week Under the Sun
Tuesday is my Monday; the beginning of another work week. I have just finished updating my task list and here’s a bit of what’s ahead for me.
I wore my grubbies today because I plan to mow the little field we use for overflow parking. Working outside is part of my mental health plan because it always feels good to see it freshly cut. But I can’t help remembering this cutting will only last a week.
An undetermined portion of my week will be spent on what I usually call ‘shepherding.’ It has some parallels with parenting in that it often does not fit into the time slots you plan for it. And unlike mowing the grass, there is rarely any sense of completion.
Sermon preparation will take the lion’s share of my hours, as usual. This week I will be studying for the final installment of the 1 Corinthians series, a book I have really come to love over the last five months. But after delivering nearly a thousand sermons over the last 20 years, I sometimes experience a postpartum low on Tuesdays, especially at the end of a series. The reality is that no matter how much you put into a message, you have to get another one ready next week. Quick, lay down more track because the weekend worship locomotive is coming around the bend at full speed! Another sermon, another series, another year…I hope I don’t miss my stop.
Oh, did I mention that I read Ecclesiastes 1-4 this morning? That may explain why my trail of thoughts looks a bit overcast, despite today’s sunshine. However, reading ‘meaningless, meaningless, everything is utterly meaningless’ was actually really helpful. Seriously. It encouraged me to hear someone who was seeing some of the same things I was. Even more valuable, God spoke to me.
Here’s what he said to me in Ecclesiastes 2:24-25.
“How’s your coffee this morning? “Good,” I replied. “Really? Take another sip, but this time, really taste it.” Another sip. It truly was delicious. “Now, that yogurt and fresh raspberries you’re eating; what do you think of it?” “It’s excellent as well,” I said, a little surprised at God’s particular interest in my breakfast. “Now, eat just one raspberry all by itself, and marvel at how that tangy sweetness simply springs out of the dirt in your backyard, just to bless your breakfast.” Mmm, raspberries truly are glorious. “Now, go to the church and mow the grass. Enjoy it fully, because I made it enjoyable. And when you’re finished, take a moment and enjoy the beauty of it. Yes, it will need to be mowed again soon. But that’s because you will need more joy.”
I’m heading outside now, and glad to be.