While others are doubting … Believe.
While others are playing … Plan.
While others are sleeping … Study.
While others are delaying … Decide.
While others are daydreaming … Prepare.
While others are procrastinating … Begin.
While others are wishing … Work.
While others are talking … Listen.
While others are pouting … Smile.
While are others are criticizing … Commend.
While others are quitting … Persist.
The music twirled and lifted under the
spotlighted gaze of the audience in the twilight hall. Beside me, little Anne
resonated, feet swinging gently, fingers twiddling tiny conductor’s patterns.
Baby Winston bounced in time on my knee. Three rows down, a child who was big
enough to know better set up a fuss, “It’s mine!” she whined.
God conducts the music of unfolding
history every day for us. Will we pay attention? Will we resonate, keeping time
to His patterns? Or will we with our own agendas and our beeper watches set up
some other measure?
God’s Creation is set up especially to
speak of Him, and the rhythms of time are no exception. The week is explicitly
established as a pattern of seven with the cadences of work danced in
demonstration by God Himself. Ever wonder who came up with a seven-day week?
Why not a neat ten? Genesis 1 and 2. The first work week in history.
When God established a Sabbath day one
day out of seven, He explained that this was intended to be the pattern for our
imitation of Him.
“Six days shalt thou labor and do all
thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God; in it thou
shalt not do any work,…For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the LORD blessed
the sabbath day, and hollowed it.” (Ex 20:9-11)
And in so doing, He invites us to look
carefully at the rest of His work week to discern other patterns of work that
we should imitate in order to be effective.
Can we arrange our time so that our
schedules reverberate with God’s messages to us? So that our work patterns
remind us that there is a greater Work that we imitate? So that even washing
dishes takes on a beautiful dignity? Oh yes!
James B. Jordan, in his book, Primeval
Saints, has a wonderful study of the manner in which worship transforms
our work and enables us in turn to transform the broken, ugly and unformed into
something more and more glorious.
Jordan points out that God models for us
again and again the six-fold pattern for our work.
We lay hold on the world.
We give thanks.
We break it up and restructure it.
We distribute it to others.
We evaluate it.
We enjoy it.
Does this look familiar? When Jesus was
demonstrating how we are to remember His work,
“Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke
it, and gave it to his disciples saying, ‘Take and eat. This is my body.’
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying, ‘Drink from it
all of you. This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many
for the forgiveness of sins…’ When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the
Mt of Olives.” (Matt 26:26)
It is the pattern of the Creation Week,
of the Old Testament sacrificial system, of the Communion service, and (except
for the thanksgiving part) it is a pattern that we cannot help but follow.
Jordan maintains that if we, as believers, discipline ourselves to give thanks,
it is the pattern for dominion and for cultural revitalization.
This can be the pattern for daily life. As you sit down on a Sunday to imitate
God in the arranging of your coming week,
Lay hold of your
lists and calendars.
Give thanks for
the time you have been given and for the help you have in your children (or
Divide your work
into manageable tasks.
to the days and hours at your disposal, and, if you have children, to those
small helpers at your knee.
you can really do all that. Does something need to move or be re-assigned to
another worker? Or maybe it just needs to be ditched. Leave room to be
interrupted. Leave room for God to re-assign His work to you in the measure of
Enjoy the rest
brought by knowing your work will be done decently and in order.