Labor (Worship) Day

I grew up on a farm, pushing a broom between forty foot piles of Oregon grass seed that sat all summer in our warehouse; I was the sentry against the dust and chaff that tried to escape the seedy mountains. You might think this a child size task, but anyone who spends that much time doing anything develops technique. One does not simply sweep the floor; there was a rhythm and grace to the never ending battle against the forces of the evil dirt particles.

Just pushing the broom left behind streaks on the thoroughly smoothed concrete floor, worn to a slippery polish by years of grass seed and loader bucket scraping the surface. We used to ride our four wheeler on that floor, getting sideways around the corners with ease.

No you didn't just push the broom. You shoved the broom, you eradicated the enemy from the two and a half by three foot section of concrete (that you knew he would reinvade after you walked by), then slammed the bristles against the floor so as to remove any particles attempting to cling on only to be left in streaks during the next invasion.

Swish-pop-swish-pop. Even thinking about the sound brings me back to my childhood.

During those years of pushing a broom, I also learned how to do complex math in my head, money math. If I'm getting paid $4.00 per hour, divided by sixty minutes, that's about six and a half cents per minute.... and it would go on like that, figuring out how many swish-pops equaled a dollar, how many dollars equalled that lego pirate ship, how many swish-pops bought me that new Donkey-Kong for Super Nintendo. I liked work, and math, because it took me to money, to things.

I would like to think that I've learned that the swish-pop-money math I did in my head was a never ending cat-and-mouse cycle of discontentment, that there is always the next lego set, the next exotic trip or new gadget that keeps us pushing the broom a few more times. Work is from God, not the North American version of course, but there is something inherently satisfying to me about putting in a hard days work, it is invigorating. Work, however, can become god.

What if we just hopped off the merry-go-round?

I know I'm dropping this like a rock, but I'm going to come back to this. There is more to say. So let the tensions in your mind fall where they do. If this post is the question, then Wednesday will be the attempt at an answer.