Monday, May 30, 2011

A Living Sacrifice


Have you ever rested easy? Knowing that you had put in a hard days work? Gotten into the shower and watched as the hot water rolled across your skinning, taking with it a film of dark dirt and soap? There's something about an honest, hard days work. A day in which you have done everything you can and at the end, you know you couldn't have done it better. Nor could you have done anymore than what you'd already done.

I used to hate going out and mowing the yard. Yard work was just another thing on my list that I needed to do, but I had put in a good 12 or 16 hours at work, why come home and do more? I lived that way for many years, indeed doing nothing but coming home and hitting the computer. It wasn't much of a life really, but I thought I was being a good man. I worked, I paid for the roof over our heads, and I came home after work. No going out with the guys for a drink. But you know? It wasn't enough. It requires more than just a job to be a good husband. It also requires more than just doing what you 'have' too to get by. (That goes for wives too.)

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

In 2007 I had my spine fused from T3 to L3. 3 feet of titanium on each side of my back, with 26 3 inch titanium screws holding it in place. Now to get out and simply mow the yard is almost more than I can do. But I relish it. Every single time. I miss going out and having a job, but there aren't many people will hire a man who can't work on his knees or climb a ladder for more than a few minutes at a time. Nor do they want a man who can't really lift. And in our society you would be surprised the looks a person like me gets when it the super market my wife has to get the pack of water and put it on the bottom of the cart, while I stand and just hold the cart. To be honest, I know why those looks are there. I don't look sick, I look healthy. It looks to many like I'm just to lazy to help. That drives me at times to do things I shouldn't, because I don't want to stand and watch. I want to participate and work with others. Then I spend a day in the bed or sitting on the couch doing nothing, because I'm in too much pain to do anything.

My point is not that I want sympathy, I dislike pity more than just about anything. What I want is for people to realize how much of a blessing it is to do something simple, like mowing the yard. To go out in the sun and dig a ditch or plant some veggies. What used to take me a few hours now takes me a week or more. The one difference between then and now is I have truly learned the phrase, "Everything you do, do for the Lord." I may not get a third of what another person gets done, but when I do I feel a sense of accomplishment. I know without a doubt when I finish I did the best I could, as fast as I could and with as much skill and effort as I can muster. Are there times I don't get the house clean? Yes. There are days I can't physically stand long enough to do the dishes. Granted some days are better than others. But in the end, I want to know that I didn't sit down and not do the dishes out of sheer laziness. That when I can, I do. That in every single action I am working as hard as I can, and doing it not for myself but to serve others and to serve God.

1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

I miss work. I miss going out and hanging lights. Driving and running a bucket truck to work on neon signs 30+ feet in the air. Simply climbing a ladder to change a ballast or bulbs. I miss finishing the day covered in sweat, and being able to look back at what I had accomplished and saying, "I did that." But I also know that I am now working for God more than I ever did then. So I encourage you to go out each and every day and serve God. To give 100% and earn every penny that you are making. To be content with what you are making, for there are many out there making nothing. To cherish every single moment with your families and friends, and to teach your children and your children's children how to do the things every person should know. The future is never certain, but serving our God is. He is the same yesterday, and today, and tomorrow. Let us worship Him not just in our prayers and songs, but in our very breath. Our life itself a living sacrifice to the King of Kings.

In Christ,
Brian