Car’s in the shop, snow’s on the ground, kids are either at school or en route, kittens are playing meanly behind me, growling, even. And I am in my big fluffy bathrobe, trying to decide between work-work, church-work, house-work, and this, which, for lack of a better term, I shall call spirit-work. Guess which won?
But there is so much to do, everywhere I look. The bills are on the table, not that there are many of them, and there’s this lingering smell from either the garbage disposal or the fridge…I haven’t the nerve or the stomach to investigate further. My worship co-chair and I are leading the worship service on Sunday, so there is an order of service to produce, as well as my part, the two five-minute homilies. There’s a column to write, and then there’s the list of things to do for work. Oh, and the PTO newsletter for the elementary school.
And I really ought to shower sometime today.
Afterschool is a mess today: three consecutive piano lessons, then two consecutive hair cuts, then one half-hour tuba lesson. Somewhere in there, there’s dinner, but since my husband is out of town tonight, that should be a drive-through breeze, once, of course, we settle on the one drive-through the four of us can agree on. If not, there are nuggets (from some portion of poultry) and tots (from some portion of a potato) lying in wait in the freezer.
I try to recite the lines to myself from our affirmation of faith, the words we say each week: service is our prayer. I’m not real good at either of these things, the service or the prayer, so this is a particular challenge for me this week: Serving without griping. It’s all a part of that “journey” thing so many spiritual people talk about, that learning to get over one’s own self long enough to see that everything we do is a prayer, of sorts.
What are we praying when we pay the bills? (other than, please don’t let this one clear til after the 10th!). We are praying that we remember to honor our commitments, to pay for services rendered, to live a life unindentured by indebtedness.
It is the same when we say we will pull a newlsetter together, that we value the community we are in and we have offered our best talents to show how we value it. By doing the work, we are praying, again, to honor our commitments and the people we make them to.
Life is prayer, and, as Mary Oliver put it so eloquently:
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”
There’s much to do. It is all service. It is all prayer. And it all is that doorway I seek, yet grumble about seeking. Irony of ironies. That which you run from may be exactly what you need.
Grumble as you go, but go you must.