A ten-minute challenge to write about the problem with significance. Here goes!
It's two o'clock in the afternoon and the baby girls are napping. My big kids are off being learners at school ... or kick-ball players or song singers or story writers ... whatever they do at two o'clock in the afternoon. I am sitting. The lazy-boy is cocked back and the foot rest is giving my tired tootsies some relief. I just finished reading part of a Psalm and part of a Proverb in my attempts to read them all this year. A few thoughts are popping around my head but they all seem to hinge on a verse:
Look at the ant, O sluggard, see how he labors. He gets his work done and isn't in want. (Or something like that ... I hope you'll accept my rough paraphrase).*
With a little introspection, I recognize myself as that little ant - pulling ten times my weight and never ceasing to tidy, cook and clean. These few minutes seated in the recliner are just that - few, indeed. I am happiest and most satisfied when I'm busy and productive. A sluggard I am not.
But my little self-evaluation doesn't end here. Yes, I am a laboring ant, but I also flirt with being prideful of that fact. I am in danger of comparing myself to others and viewing how I measure up in light of the hours per day that I toil. Not a good place to be.
But even worse, I am prone to worshipping my ant-like-ness ... my got-it-all-done attitude, my tackling-the-list perspective, my valued-by-my-work thinking. If I've been busy, I'm good. If I've been idle, I'm bad. Another bad place to be.
I'm certain King Solomon intended this tale of an industrious ant to spur the reader on to productivity and against laziness, but my tendency to find significance in a job well done sets me off on a slippery slope.
I am not significant because my laundry is clean and folded, my dishes are washed and dried, my fridge is full of fruits and veggies, my floor is free of crumbs and Gimli-bits, my windows are spotless and sparkling (which they aren't), my bookcases are dust-free and shiny (not a chance!), my kids are washed and dressed, my plants are watered and blooming or my pillows are stuffed and fluffed.
I am significant because God made me. Period.
6 *Proverbs 6:6-11
Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
Learn from their ways and become wise!
7 Though they have no prince
or governor or ruler to make them work,
8 they labor hard all summer,
gathering food for the winter.
9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.