Much accomplished, little achieved

It has been a busy week!  Looking back on Monday through Saturday, I put in five 10+ hour work days, outlined a lengthy unit for school, mapped out my November plans and test dates, graded large stacks of papers and made an update to the online gradebook, cooked meals for family and friends, rigorously cleaned parts of the house, prepared and mailed letters/packages to friends, ran errands around town, got a flu shot, managed my finances, wrestled with complicated theological doctrines, and read a quarter of a book.  Now, at 10 p.m. on Saturday I am posting this blog entry.  I am exhausted though I have accomplished much.

The problem is that I am a miserable failure in all of these areas.  I might as well have skipped this week of my life or done nothing because in that extensive list I achieved little, if anything at all.

I have a strong sense of duty and, consequently, fulfilled my objectives, but God did not envision for us to be merely dutiful creatures.  He desires for us to be responsible stewards who balance duty with delight.  Despite my hard work and service to others, I did not carry out this work with an attitude of delight.  Rather, I am tired, distressed, and more self-centered now than I was before the week began.

Creator God, I thank you for the gifts and abilities you have entrusted in me, particularly for helping me to carry out my professional assignments and to meet others’ needs when time has been short.  May you be glorified through my dutiful response and sincere efforts.  However, I confess that I am frail and all work is in vain if not directed to proper ends.  Help me to delight in my work.  Give me strength and joy where I have none.  Remind me of my calling and to whom it is I owe my allegiance.  May all things be done as working for you, not for the praise of man or self-satisfaction.  Pardon my sins, especially where I have failed you in these respects.  Now, grant me physical and spiritual rest. Above all, thank you for the grace that is extended through the atoning work of your son, Jesus Christ.  It is in his name I pray, Amen.

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