Monday, January 15, 2007

Part One of a Fascinating Tale

Ecclesiastes 1:1-3
The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?

These are the thoughts of King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived and the son of King David of Israel. “All meaningless.” Sounds like the words of a man deep in despair, doesn’t it? It’s true, Solomon did reach the end of his life disappointed with his own use of the days appointed him.
It’s a fine trick to use our days wisely. I was off for a few days last week sick. That’s always a contradictory experience for me. I hate calling off work and always do so with great guilt and angst. During my time at home when I should be working I’m always second-guessing myself, maybe I should’ve tried. I don’t feel that bad after all.
On the other hand, I love being at home. I’ve never fully stepped into the role of career woman. I do it for the money. I’m blessed to work in a job I love and get a feeling of fulfillment from; but I could walk away tomorrow and never look back. If I didn’t need the money.
So three days off in a row butting up against a weekend meant five days away from work and stuck in my little house. Day number one was Wednesday.
This particular Wednesday was also life group Wednesday which means I am supposed to teach a Bible study at a friends’ home. We do this the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. I had just been “talked to” on the Sunday prior that the only criticism against my ministry is that I’m inconsistent, ie I call off group too often. I walked away from that conversation determined to take the criticism as constructive and to be better with this ministry from here on.
Naturally I started feeling punky on Monday and downright bad by Tuesday evening at which point I called off for Wednesday. But I had to get to life group on Wednesday. I was determined that if I had to drag an IV pole behind me, I was going to life group. Wednesday morning I awakened feeling as bad as I had predicted I would but determined to use the day to really prepare a wonderful lesson for the evening. I would be thoroughly studied, prayed and ready. I didn’t give myself the option of cancellation. My promise to God to do better and my own pride were both on the line.
I sat in my living room for a few hours Wednesday morning channel surfing. Started on the local news and flipped when the stories started repeating. Checked out the classic movie channels. Nothing. Clicked through all 100+ channels, nothing. Sigh.
So I did something outlandish. Something one never does on a sick day. I turned off the television at 8:00 in the morning. Wow, that silence is really loud. I was pretty sure I could hear the blood pumping through my arteries in the stillness. Hmmm. Looked around the place. Wow. This house is really messy. Peeked into the (just flooded and drained again basement). Wow. There’s a lot of stinky wet laundry down there.
Paused to assess my own status. Wow. I feel like crap.
Probably should just climb into bed and spend the day reading and napping. I’ll see what’s on the classic movie station later on. Let’s face it, I’m way to sick to go to life group.
No! I have to go to life group!
But you’re sick and the house is messy and clearly, it’s all too much. Let’s watch your Green Acres collection on DVD.
No! I HAVE to go to life group! I have to. I have to, right?

To be continued...


tina fabulous said...

i thought all church leaders automatically receive the mantle of eternal health so as to not inconvenience anyone!

thanks for the broken dreams.

Mrs. Mac said...

Do you always "talk" to yourself? Waiting to read what happened next :)

KayMac said...

you got me hooked!

Deb said...

I cancel our group if I have a hangnail. You're way more dedicated than I.

Brillo Man's favorite book of the Bible --Ecclesiastes.....

...which really has nothing to do with your post.

I'm supposed to have group here on Friday --it's Tuesday and I'm already trying to think of a reason to cancel....

I'm pitiful.

Pat said...

waiting for part deux.

MSUgal86 said...

i talk to myself too!
Whew, what a relief!

You mean to tell me you were home sick all day and could not find even one Seinfeld rerun? "No soup for you!"

Sara said...

i'm sure there was some seinfeld out there; just looking for something worth spending the hours on.