Work And Play

April 26, 2003
by Rod Marshall

Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 – There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. (ESV)

I love playing games — nothing too physical — with my wife. I delight in being daft — manipulating words — with anyone silly enough to be around when I am in the mood. As I get older, this tends to have become more verbal than physical!

I enjoy the satisfaction of working hard to achieve my personal goals, where there is the possibility of reaching an end to the task; I reach out for it knowing I can do it well, or at least believing I can bring it to completion.

However, there are also tasks that are ongoing, open-ended, and never-ending, where there is little chance of a short-term fix. I dislike these goals with a passion, especially those that I sense I cannot conquer, or ones that I have failed at in the past. Worse still are those I know will become harder with increasing age. Some of these are personal, some are imposed upon me by others, and some by the circumstances in which I will find myself.

As a young man, I delighted in my ability and strength to be able to do and be what I thought I had a right to be. Now that I am older, I recognize that my conceit and presumption were great. Yet I still aspire to the conceit, in the full knowledge that my acquisitive nature will never cease; it is a part of being human.

Today, I recognize that God is not distant, or indifferent to my daily tasks, a bolt-on extra, or an addition to help me when I fail. Rather, I believe that we are what we are with Him, and this includes every task, small or great, seen or unseen, in our daily walk with Him, as God-given breath allows!

Psalm 127:1-2 – Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. (ESV)

Prayer: Lord, in all our doing during this day, we ask You into our lives once more to permeate our being. Like sherry in a trifle or sunshine through the storm clouds, may Your fragrance and light be evidenced in what we do and think, so that there is rejoicing in heaven and rest for our body, soul, and spirit whilst we are still on earth. Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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