Sunday, July 09, 2006

An Opportunity for Joy, Lost by Ignoring God

Lately we've been having the siding redone on our house. It's been a study in work ethics...unfortunately. The fellow who has been assigned to work on it alone claims to attend a church nearby which, judging by the mailings we've received from it, is an extremely seeker-friendly organization. In view of his work attitude and the church he's attending, I'd expect he's more likely a seeker than a believer. He is an example of "by their fruits you will know them."
I transplanted a number of the plants I valued the most to places away from the work area so that they wouldn't get trampled, and pruned some trees and shrubs to provide more room. It's a good thing too. It appears that occasionally this worker gets frustrated and decides to take it out on one particular house fixture (hose rack or electrical outlet) or various plants. A large dusty miller plant in the front has been trampled to a pulp. So have a couple of strawberry plants and a foxglove in the back. I would expect the occasional plant with a broken branch or a footstep here and there, but not plants trampled down nearly to the cellular level.
He left five ladders set up around our house, including two in front of our garage, and when the work was put on hold for nearly a week, I asked that he would remove the ladders. He said he would either Friday or Saturday; finally today (Sunday) he removed the two in front of the garage.
Our neighbor Stacia came over and told me that after I asked him to move his van so Katie and I could go out in our car, he moved the van in the way of their driveway so her husband Dean could not get out, and that he was also grumbling about the inconvenience of having to move it for us. Well, Dean had to go into the back of our house to find him and ask him to move it again so he could go to work, and our workman acted annoyed. "Right now?" Dean said yes. Right now. So he begrudgingly got down off his platform and moved it again. She also sees him grumbling constantly as he goes about his work.
I can't say all this is beyond my understanding. I'd be annoyed too at being assigned such a huge job all on my own. Besides the fact that I could never have done so much in such a short time let alone a couple of years, myself. Still, if he were a believer, I would hope he would display a little more of the joy that working to the glory of God can bring.
It all boils down to an awareness of God in one's work, as Pastor Sean pointed out while going through Ecclesiastes. If one ignores the presence of God, an opportunity to glorify Him is lost, as is the opportunity for joy.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink, and enjoy oneself in all one's labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward. Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.



We had a Christian painter paint the inside of our house when we were first married, and he actually scared the socks off me. He was taking some anger management classes at his church, and that scared me even more. We requested a change in some small detail, and he acted personally offended that we chose a different color. It was a scary time!

Leila said...

You can just tell something about people by the way they treat plants and small animals! And destroying foxgloves is definitely not okay! :)

Anonymous said...

In hindsight I realize that I should have been praying for him instead of complaining. It's obvious that he is unhappy. Perhaps he is new in his walk as a Christian, and is struggling. As a Christian I should have showed more compassion and patience like the Lord would want me to. Like they say Hindsight is 20-20. But at the same time, it is my friends house that he was working on and we watch out for each others homes. It's wonderful that the Lord is so patient with me :-)


I think you and Katie (and any other mother and/or daughter) would really enjoy the 1970's Disney film, Freake Friday, with Jodie Foster. The DVD has an interview with Jodie from 2003 talking about the film she starred in in 1970.