Monday, March 14, 2011

Rearrange the Day!

This morning, I scrape egg off of a blue and white plate.

I overhear a pastor, Tim Keller, speaking about work in a sermon video. I wipe my hands on the dish towel and strain to hear.

Keller says, "Work is rearranging the raw material of a particular domain for the flourishing of everyone."

I think about what "raw materials" make up this day.

So far, my raw materials are dirty dishes.  Later, I rearrange letters to make words and then rearrange words to make sentences.  Now, I position red peppers in a pan to roast for dinner.  At 6:30, I'll open the front door and welcome the children for neighborhood fitness group.   

I also have the raw emotions of fear about my sick friend and sadness for the Japanese.  I take the feelings and do the work of prayer.  

Suddenly, I look at my work in new ways.  Cleaning the kitchen, teaching grammar, making dinner, praying, and then hosting the neighborhood fitness group tonight all represent ways I rearrange raw material into new positions for flourishing.

And if what I'm doing doesn't contribute to our flourishing, then it's not the kind of work I want.  I think of Proverbs 14:  "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."  I want to be the kind of person who rearranges whatever she's been given today to allow everyone (including myself) to flourish.

Living with flair is a kind of rearranging:  We rearrange our circumstances, turn them towards the light, and find the good, the beautiful, and the hopeful.  


___________________
Journal:  How does my work advance our flourishing?    





10 comments:

David Rupert said...

Work is exactly that...I sometimes see work as a big puzzle that fell off the table and I have to put it all together again. Efficiency. Sorting. Cleaning. All of these things are holy endeavors

Lyn said...

I think sometimes God takes us through a process of 'deconstruction', like a dismantling or a removal of facades or scaffolds, in order that He can 'reconstruct' in our lives, something more stable & life giving.

Every Square Inch said...

I like the idea of reshaping raw materials for the flourishing of others. It's the essence of Christian vocation - wherein God calls us to love our neighbor by working for his/her good.

I think it's especially helpful when we are doing seemingly mundane tasks... it may not seem like we're changing the world, but it is nonetheless meaningful in God's economy.

jenny_o said...

What a lovely way to describe work.

I hope your friend is starting to recover.

Patricia said...

Love that quote from Keller.

Your "live with flair" challenges are one of my daily blessings, Heather.

Thank you!

Esther said...

I love this! It's an encouragement and a wonderful reminder for this freelance-y, work-at-home, but sort of stay-at-home mom!

HisFireFly said...

This is brilliant.

Shining like a nugget of revelation straight from the heart of God.

All things, of Him, for Him, through Him.

He takes our tiny and multiplies!

Johny said...

I really liked the way you redefined "work." Moving beyond the "8 to 5" mentality also helps to emphasize how we aren't compartmentalized people--that we can be whole people--and that God's purpose can reach into all of the different roles that make up who we are. Thanks for the thought!

Courtney said...

Found you through The High Calling and love your take on work. I will consider it as I go about my day of work at home and with children. Thank you!

Sam Van Eman said...

Just saw this through a highlight at The High Calling, Heather. Spot on! I once wrote about this ingredients topic as it relates to making and reviewing good films. It's a fun way to think about the stuff we encounter every day.