Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sometimes We Just Need to Do the Next Thing...

When I am weary and drained and unmotivated, when I want to retreat within myself and hide from my duty, from what the Lord has given me to do, it's then that I need to stop trying to be spiritual, to, instead, roll my cares over onto the Lord and get up and do the next thing-- to do my work if it's the last thing I feel like doing.

Our daily work is a gift from God. Work can be a sacred waiting place for the weary of spirit. It keeps mind and body busy while the Lord works in us and takes care of all things. When we go about our work, putting energy into it whether we feel like it or not, we are less likely to be fretful, to focus negatively on our situation, to let our mental weariness overcome us. Doing the next thing is an act of faith and hope, as if we are saying, Lord I've given my cares to you. I'll leave them with you, and I'll carry on. I trust that you will take care of my needs and concerns. I'll go about the daily business you've given me to do in the knowledge that You love me and that You are faithful. I trust You to do whatever work needs to be done, both in my life and heart and mind and in the lives of those I love.

"Troubled soul, thou are not bound to feel but thou art bound to arise. God loves thee whether thou feelest or not. Thou canst not love when thou wilt, but thou art bound to fight the hatred in thee to the last. Try not to feel good when thou art not good, but cry to Him who is good. He changes not because thou changest. Nay, He has an especial tenderness of love toward thee for that thou art in the dark and hast no light, and His heart is glad when thou doest arise and say, "I will go to my Father"... Fold the arms of they faith, and wait in the quietness until light goes up in thy darkness. For the arms of thy Faith I say, but not of thy Action: bethink thee of something that thou oughtest to do, and go to do it, if it be but the sweeping of a room, or the preparing of a meal, or a visit to a friend. Heed not thy feeling: Do thy work." (George MacDonald, the old Scottish pastor)

Don't fret. Don't worry. Don't give in to weariness. Don't try to overcome with your spirituality. Simply go to the Lord. Trust Him. And carry on with your work while God carries on with His.

I like the simplicity of God's way.

I've been just slightly weary of body and spirit in the past couple of days, and I do find that when I give a hopeful, prayerful nod to God to let Him know that my trust is in Him, and then I press on to do the next thing, light comes and my spirits begin to lift. I begin to feel more rested, more hopeful, more joyful. But really it is not about feeling; it is about faith. And so we grow.