When I think of those who did well with the little they had been given, I think of David and his sheep, Joseph and his jail cell, and Ruth and the laws that allowed her to glean. None of them were able to skip the humbling tasks and the repetitive dedication that it took to become the well known people of faith. It took time – faithfulness to the task at hand.
I had a melt down yesterday – tears were shed over weeks of frustration, boredom, and literal sickness over the last few tests of school.
I have found another way I am a flawed human being.
When I am bored, almost nothing can keep my attention. The only thing that roughly compares is Sherlock’s adolescent fit in the BBC’s serial… You know… This one…
Except instead of a violin, I bang on my piano and mom doesn’t like it when walls have holes in them. It could be that I’m less brilliant and better behaved or just cause of the Southern Belle lessons I received early in life, but I respect that. Either way I understand this concept of absolute boredom because nothing can interest you enough to bother.
And when I get to that point I am sinning. I am failing to steward the time I have been given, to be grateful, and to do the task at hand excellently. In the last post I talked about chasing time trying to do so many things that don’t matter. Now I have been thinking about my failure to do things that do matter, to be faithful with the absolutely mind-numbing tasks.
This thought sent me back to Numbers. Is it slightly ironic that the book that has one of the best examples of faithfulness is considered one of the dullest books of the Bible?
When God is assigning tasks to the families of Levi, He gives one family the tent legs and poles, Nothing from the holy of holies or altars, just tent frames.
“They must carry the bases, the tent pegs, the ropes, and everything that is used for the poles around the courtyard. List the names and tell each man exactly what he must carry.”
– Numbers 4:32
Their family’s legacy was carrying something that does not seem very important. In fact, their family name, Merari, is never talked about beyond their task and placement in Israel. That would drive me crazy, just carrying a bag of ropes for forty, fifty, or sixty years, passing it down to my children. If it wasn’t for the direct command of God, I wouldn’t do it. I like prestige too much. Even then, I probably would grumble about it every now and then.
I failed to see the honor of being given a task by God, any task. Now I have worked through it in my mind, I have to go do the mind-numbingly dull things I have been avoiding, procrastinating, and making worse by putting off. The thing is that if I intentionally work on these tasks, in my case, 10 tests, I will do better on them and it will ease the stress I’ve put on myself by waiting for last minute panic to inspire me.
One of my favorite quotes is, “give me a challenge and I will meet it with joy.” Sometimes the challenge is to be faithful with the easy things.