By Kim Anderson
The music twirled and lifted under the spotlighted gaze of the audience in the twilight hall. Beside me, little Anne resonated, feet swinging gently, fingers twiddling tiny conductor’s patterns. Baby Winston bounced in time on my knee. Three rows down, a child who was big enough to know better set up a fuss, “It’s mine!” she whined.
God conducts the music of unfolding history every day for us. Will we pay attention? Will we resonate, keeping time to His patterns? Or will we with our own agendas and our beeper watches set up some other measure?
God’s Creation is set up especially to speak of Him, and the rhythms of time are no exception. The week is explicitly established as a pattern of seven with the cadences of work danced in demonstration by God Himself. Ever wonder who came up with a seven-day week? Why not a neat ten? Genesis 1 and 2. The first work week in history.
When God established a Sabbath day one day out of seven, He explained that this was intended to be the pattern for our imitation of Him.
“Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work,…For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hollowed it.” (Ex 20:9-11)
And in so doing, He invites us to look carefully at the rest of His work week to discern other patterns of work that we should imitate in order to be effective.
Can we arrange our time so that our schedules reverberate with God’s messages to us? So that our work patterns remind us that there is a greater Work that we imitate? So that even washing dishes takes on a beautiful dignity? Oh yes!
James B. Jordan, in his book, Primeval Saints, has a wonderful study of the manner in which worship transforms our work and enables us in turn to transform the broken, ugly and unformed into something more and more glorious.
Jordan points out that God models for us again and again the six-fold pattern for our work.
- We lay hold on the world.
- We give thanks.
- We break it up and restructure it.
- We distribute it to others.
- We evaluate it.
- We enjoy it.
Does this look familiar? When Jesus was demonstrating how we are to remember His work,
“Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, ‘Take and eat. This is my body.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying, ‘Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…’ When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mt of Olives.” (Matt 26:26 –30)
It is the pattern of the Creation Week, of the Old Testament sacrificial system, of the Communion service, and (except for the thanksgiving part) it is a pattern that we cannot help but follow. Jordan maintains that if we, as believers, discipline ourselves to give thanks, it is the pattern for dominion and for cultural revitalization.
This can be the pattern for daily life. As you sit down on a Sunday to imitate God in the arranging of your coming week,
- Lay hold of your lists and calendars.
- Give thanks for the time you have been given and for the help you have in your children (or co-workers)
- Divide your work into manageable tasks.
- Distribute them to the days and hours at your disposal, and, if you have children, to those small helpers at your knee.
- Consider whether you can really do all that. Does something need to move or be re-assigned to another worker? Or maybe it just needs to be ditched. Leave room to be interrupted. Leave room for God to re-assign His work to you in the measure of the dance.
- Enjoy the rest brought by knowing your work will be done decently and in order.
Your life will never be the same. This week, I hope you dance!
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Adapted from the original article on www.mother-lode.blogspot.com on Oct. 24, 2006. Copyright held by Kim Anderson & released for CBN network.
In the course of her career as a mother, Kim Anderson has home-schooled her three children; trained kitchen table lobbyists for Concerned Women for America; founded a homeschool college prep cooperative and provided international educational consulting with her husband; and produced summer-stock Shakespeare and award-winning independent film with her children. Kim has written about her parenting adventures in Countdown to College: a Homeschoolers’ Guide to Winning Scholarships and Quests & Homecomings. Active in her local church, Kim’s passion is to develop a Christian arts community. Kim blogs about family life at www.mother-lode.blogspot.com. Send Kim your comments.
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