Thursday, November 6, 2008
So here we go...
I am endeavoring to finish my study of Proverbs, so today I will share with you my thoughts on Proverbs 6:6, which reads in the NIV
Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
In studying the bible it is imperative to not just look at verses by themselves, but to look at whole passages and contexts. Verses by themselves can be twisted to mean entirely different things than what they were intended. In our modern day, a good example would be sound editing and the "sound bites" they create. But here, I think it is safe to look at the verse by itself, although the passage of Proverbs 6:6 through 6:11 gives greater depth and clarity to this first verse. However, I digress.
When I read this verse, I am overcome with guilt. I know I can be lazy. The number of hours I have logged with the tv and internet are testimony to this fact, as are my weight, dishes in my sink, and piles of dirty laundry. Granted, I am pretty busy, and you moms and especially home schooling and working moms know where I am coming from. The job we have is a 24/7 thing and just when we think the laundry is done, there on the bathroom floor are this morning's outfit and dirty socks. Just when the dishes are all done and put away, there also magically appears a cereal bowl and drink cup. So am I being lazy when I steal away to watch my recording of Gilmore Girls? Sometimes. Sometimes not. The ant eventually rests too. His work is for a season. The summer is his time of gathering. In the winter he can not work and must use the fruits of his labor. The ant also does not work alone, he is part of a team. If the team members did not do their work, there would be no winter food supply either. What can we glean from this? If we look at the example Christ set before us, we see a couple of very interesting things. First of all, Jesus rested. He was fully God, and fully man. He got tired and he also needed downtime. Of course, His choice of downtime activities(there's an oxymoron for you) were what we should be choosing too. When He got to be alone, which was almost never, he spent that time with His Father in prayer. We mom's can relate to the never being alone part. There are days when I really don't understand why solitary confinement is considered to be such a drastic punishment. Those are the days when I wish my husband would make good on the threat to call in the men with white coats, xanex shots, and a nice padded room just waiting for me. Maybe if I followed Christ's version of downtime, I wouldn't feel that way. Or at least not as often. The other thing I notice in the life of Christ, was that He chose not to do his work alone. Just like Mr. Ant. Does this mean that like the ant He needed the team members in order to get the job accomplished? No, but He chose to have a team and to not do it all Himself, so that we would understand that He doesn't expect us to do that either. I think we probably all need to ask for help a little as well as be a helping part of the team more often, whether in our home, community or church. We also need to make better downtime activity choices. At least I do.
One other thing I think we need to remember, that we need to also choose our work wisely. The ant does not engage in any activities that are contrary to achieving the mission goal of adequate winter food supply. Christ did not engage in any activity that was not part of His original purpose in saving humanity and glorifying the father. There is this demonstration of priorities. First you start with a large jar.
In it you place water, then sand, then rice, then lots of rocks. What will happen?
If you guessed that the jar would overflow, then you guessed right. Now let's take the same jar, same ingredients, but let's change the order they go in the jar. This time we add the rocks first, then the rice, then the sand, and then the water. Guess what, it all fits! How is this possible? Without meaning to be trite or cliche, when you start with the rock the rest will be added unto you. It all comes down to prioritizing. As I was just looking for a video somewhere to embed in this post to illustrate my previous demo description, I saw this man on God Tube. He said that we actually need to quit trying to manage time. Time belongs to God, it is His to control. What we need to do however, is to manage ourselves within that time. Back to the ant, I bet he doesn't have a date book.
PS I just found this object lesson. It is worth checking out. Life is like a jar of rocks.