“Sweet is the sleep of the laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.” Ecclesiastes 5:12
This jives with my experience. Saturdays are often designated as my “work around the house day”, which means yard work in summer, house repairs or general upkeep in winter, and so on. I usually wind up in the studio as well, especially when deadlines loom.
My best Saturdays are when I’ve put in a full day of physical labor. Those are my best night’s sleep. I’m always exhausted, but satisfied. In short, work is a blessing.
But it can be frustrating. In fact, it’s almost always a challenge and usually problems arise. Most are petty annoyances; some problems are nigh disastrous. Blessed are those days when everything clicks and the petty stuff is easily conquered.
This week I drew this little series of Matilda scrubbing the floor. She’s pictured at the top of this post. Next, a blue fly flits by with a warning.
Work was going well enough, but now this.
“What might it mean?” ponders Matilda. “Beware the Kit ‘n Kaboodle”? Message delivered, the blue fly scurries off. Work is interrupted by worry. Why didn’t the fly clarify his message? Why this disruption? This frustration?
Like Matilda, like you, I want things to go smoothly. I don’t like disruption, I certainly don’t like my efforts thwarted. I mostly don’t like “unknowns”. When I set upon a plan, I want to predict every outcome, dodge every disadvantage, and reap quick rewards.
Matilda was doing just fine. I can’t say for sure, but my guess is she was humming a happy tune before this prophet of doom lit upon her. Worry will squeeze its way into her psyche and rob her scrubbing of all joy.
And so it goes. Mindlessly, this cat (can you guess his name?) tracks mud on Matilda’s work.
Can you empathize with her frustration? How many projects have you had go awry? Computers crash amidst unsaved files, weeds foul a lovely garden, and so on.
These are petty annoyances, considering the most frustrating thing of all, the eventual disruption of all our life’s work and pleasure.
The good news, make that Good News, is that the most horrible frustrations are only a disruption. I believe, or more accurately I strive to believe, that “. . . this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” Of course the Apostle was writing about frustrations far worse than a muddy pawed feline. He faithfully asserted that we (believers) “look not to the things that are seen but to things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (English Standard Version).
It isn’t always easy having an eternal perspective, but it’s essential. The alternative is surrender to believing the victory of frustration and the permanence of disruption. I hope you don’t give in.
Thanks for reading.
All art ©2018 Ed Koehler