for futility.

sometimes when i don’t know where to start, i toil & spin in no real direction at all.
i’ve pointed my boat north, headed toward home, but it seems to just funnel around in circles.


add to this the fact that all of the expensive pieces of machinery i own are breaking at the same time. (you got it: my jeep, my laptop, my cell phone) and the dying of other things like my favorite pair of pants, my sweet “gladiator-esque” sandals purchased in Cambodia, along with my beloved orchid plant which requires very little water or care, & you have a woman of utter defeat.

i know these are just earthly things.
but it seems to all happen at once, doesn’t it?
or as the saying goes, “when it rains, it pours.” 

usually when it pours, i’m the one running out to dance barefoot through the puddles.
i’m the one marveling at how small i feel amongst thousands of raindrops.

but the rain falling lately has seemed cold and an unlikely place to dance.
the droplets are the kind i want to shield myself from with the world’s largest umbrella-poncho hybrid.

i feel so vulnerable to whatever could happen next, walking in a lot of fear.
i feel trapped by all there is to do at work.
i feel my personal “to-do” list growing by the minute.
i’ve been slapped up-side-the-head with the reality that i haven’t been a good sister.
or friend.
or a Daughter walking in peace and truth.


{this is my idea of peace.}

instead, i’ve found it hard to catch my breath, and this can only point to one profound truth:

when we allow our work to define us and create a false identity, viewing it as something that establishes and increases our reputation alone, we will experience the deep pains of futility, and this will result in despair. 

that may sound so “Debbie Downer”, but that’s as real as it gets.

our work should be purposeful, and viewed as something that exists solely for a Glory higher than ours and a purpose greater than our comfort, so we can, even in the midst of futility, experience true joy.

if we look back to Genesis 2, when God was working to create us, we see Him as a gardener. we’ve since seen him pruning and feeding and healing us, and telling us to mirror and reflect Him in our lives (which consist of work).

so we should be asking ourselves how we can be better gardeners in the Kingdom.

{photo by Amanda Carr}

instead of asking that question, though, i’ve been instinctively trying to fix things on my own.
i’ve made work my mistress, while crowning myself a king.
i’ve convinced myself that if i finally had money, i wouldn’t actually need it.
i’ve neglected to thank Him for the things He has actually provided.

but these are just flawed ways of trying to cope with a broken system.
only God can break in with the person and work of His son to fix our broken things.
only He can defeat our defeat.
Jesus sets us free to have fullness, and gives us freedom to fail.


and isn’t it scary to think that left to ourselves,
our work will be forgotten when we’re gone?

so i’ve decided here and now to stop spinning, and to just sit in the thing.
i’ve decided work & worship go hand-in-hand.
it’s time to do the kind of work that matters and has a focus and will leave a lasting impact.
& it’s time to exude gratitude.

i need to join hands with other like-hearted people.
we need to ask God what our true gifts consist of,
& how we can best use them to serve others.

so, whose in?
how can we hold one another accountable in this?