A Plague of Flies of Biblical Proportions (Sort Of)
Ah Friday. Friday is writing day around here, and it’s Friday at last. Friday is the one day of the week everyone is supposed to leave me alone,
So I rolled out of bed thinking I was headed for the laptop until enough fog cleared from my head, for me to remember, Kathy is out of town. She’s in Portland with a mom, two daughters, and a sister, doing some kind of a women’s thing. A spa thing, I think they said. I’m not sure what that entails but I think I heard the words “many petting” in there somewhere, so my thought is, it involves zoo animals somehow.
Anyway, that means I had to cover for Kathy at one of her jobs. Among her many other activities, she manages the pool and recreational facilities at our townhouse complex. (She’s always doing something productive or helpful.) So off I go to the pool. “No big deal,” I think to myself. “Just a quick chemical check, and I’m off to my office.” But when I arrived, I found a surprise. Covering the surface of the pool I found flies. Scads of flies. Gazillions of flies. It was a fly plague of biblical proportions–except they were only on the surface of the pool–so I guess it wasn’t. But still, there were a lot of flies.
They were all dead, floating there, on the surface of the pool. And the pool was due to open in a minute or two. So I found that little net that’s made to scoop stuff off the surface. You know, the one that’s about the size of a sheet of paper, it’s attached to a long pole. And I skimmed and scooped for all I was worth. I did the West side of the pool, then started working from the South side, when I noticed some more flies near the West side. “Huh, I must of missed a few,” I thought. So I went back and scooped them. Then started working along the South side again, then the East side. But then I found more flies on the South and West side. That little 8 1/2 x 11 net sure doesn’t scoop very many flies. This went on for an hour when the townhouse complex manager came by. I told him about the fly infestation and as we were talking, we watched more flies, fly into the pool. It’s tough to keep up with mother nature.
But it was already almost 90 degrees. People started asking when we would open. So I skimmed, and vacuumed, and scooped, and cleaned. It took a long time.
I didn’t write much today.
And because I didn’t write much, I set out to dive into that dark miry place where I’m frustrated, because I’m not writing, like I’m supposed to be. Frustrated because instead of impacting the world with writing, I’m scooping dead flies with an 8 1/2 x 11 inch net. Frustrated because I’m entitled to feel frustrated–it’s Friday, after all, and I’m supposed to be writing.
But then I realized, I couldn’t permit myself to become frustrated. And I couldn’t, because of Jesus.
How Jesus Loved People
Jesus loved people by obeying his parents, building furniture, and paying taxes. Jesus loved his parents when they told him, Jesus, the Son of God, that he needed to leave his Father’s house and follow them back home, where chores, and school, and helping dad in the shop awaited. Jesus, the One who co-created all things with His Almighty Father, loved his family and his customers by working, as a carpenter, until he was thirty. Jesus, the King of Kings, even paid taxes. (Luke 2:42-51, Mark 6:3, Matthew 17:24-27)
Jesus loved people by doing all the little things we’re all obligated to do. And he lived that way for thirty years. Thirty years. I become impatient when I have to vacuum thirty minutes before I can watch the football game. Jesus waited thirty years. And during those thirty years, year after year after year, he did all those little things we all have to do.
Love Like Jesus
I know many of you who read this blog have big ideas. Big ideas to accomplish great things for God’s kingdom: with your book, or your blog, or your church. And I love that about you all. But who among us has bigger plans than Jesus Christ?
Jesus was faithful to love people in little ways, by doing the small things we all have to do, before he did His Father’s big things.
So when you’re confronted with obeying, or working, or any other seemingly small obligation,
You can too.
Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. -Mark 6:3
[Image via the tatooed tentacle – Creative Commons]