"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What do you do?


What do you do? What is your job, your occupation? or, ... What did you do today? These are common, everyday, over-coffee questions we ask each other, right?

We took an hour to worship today.

My job? ...officially? Well, I pray... I walk alongside a few people that live overseas... I write occasionally. And, I worship.

Sometimes I feel guilty. I think sometimes I feel wrong about our job... what are we really doing here, Father, we ask ourselves when we haven't done much of anything that can be ticked off on a "to do" list. When our time sheet submitted says we prayed... we worshipped ...we sat with someone and listened...we talked on the phone ...wrote a blog ...or an email. Or a boat-load of emails...

Sometimes I feel confused with others about our job... how do we explain what we are attempting here? How do I put into words our call to pray... our call to be a soul friend to a few ... our call to worship or to write. How does this really fit with the call to the unreached of the world?

So when I pray; or when we pray.... is it really "doing" anything? And, can I check that off my list? When exactly is "prayer" or "soul care" ever done? When can I check off the "prayed for Afghanistan"... or the nations ... or this marriage ... or this organization? Can I tick the box, say "I did my job" and be done for the day?

And, what about when I spend the whole day forgetting to pray... not taking the time, not praying. What happens when my time-sheet can't show forth prayer, worship, or caring for others?

Did the prayer over my soap suds at the sink "count" toward my hours --are those calculable prayer hours? How about that midnight bathroom visit.... and that moment of half-conscious prayer on the toilet? Is that my job?

I know. I know these are stupid and silly questions. Almost ridiculous, I know. But, they linger. They come up. From outside and from within.

When we spend our team meeting... not "meeting" with an agenda... but meeting to worship, to read His word, to hold our hands up together and just say, "You are awesome God!"...

In home school we are reading about 6th and 7th century monks and monasteries. We definitely are not like them, for sure. But maybe we feel a similar calling? I don't know.

On Wikipedia a Medieval monk's life is described: "Prayer was a monk’s first priority; all other tasks fell secondary to this one. Apart from these prayers, monks had several tasks to complete, such as preparing medicine, lettering, reading, and others. Also, these monks would work in the gardens and on the land; a monk could spend most of his day gardening. Monks also did something called Cloister, where they would walk around the center of the monastery reading and writing parts of the Bible, as well as writing prayers."

Okay, can be really clear that I don't think we have the call to be monks! But, that said, we do have the call to pray first and foremost... and then do whatever the Lord leads us to do. And, that sounds a bit monk-ish, doesn't it?

Or, is that the call of every Christian?

At some point in history, for centuries actually, it was okay to live this life of prayer, worship and simple service to the Lord. It was an acceptable, supported, and an "okay" job. Odd maybe. Okay, I get that. Monks were unique and odd. But, it was acceptable. And it was valued. Did people question the monks on how they spent their time? It is hard to imagine they did... but, maybe.

We took an hour to worship today. Smack dab in the middle of our "work week" we sang together. That is what we did. We worshipped. And, it was sweet. And, tomorrow our time sheet can say we spent an hour in worship.

Are you okay with that?
And, more importantly and more pointedly... am I okay with that?
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