Define productivity…??

wood 2One of my bloggish buddies, Enthusiastically Dawn (yes, how could I not like someone who’s name is also Dawn?!?  I wonder if she’s a morning person like me?) is an avid journalist.  No, I mean, she writes the journal on journaling.  And her journals aren’t just the five-and-dime variety, they are, themselves, works of art, that she further turns into works of art with her both her prose and poetry.  Even her blog site is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l and her Instagram feed gives us frequent vids of the ocean (ahhhhh….that soothing sound of waves….here in Missouri we get tornado sirens.)

So, what’s more inviting to a writer/poet/artist than a blank folio? (Unless, of course, you have writer’s block, which I doubt my buddy ever does, bless her!) That clean unqualified availability just pulls the pen to the page, or if it’s my almost three-year-old granddaughter, the crayon.  Or better yet, as when we moved into this old house, we knew we were going to strip the wall paper off and repaint, so guess what we let our children do with their crayons?  Don’t you think those blank walls were inviting!?!

I’m thinking this same kind of opportunity caught Jesus’ eye as well~~

“One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God.  He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets.  Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.”

Availability.  I can imagine that an empty, waiting boat would have been more inviting than a boat with a bunch of slippery fish in it.  This doesn’t mean totally tanking our responsibilities to clear our schedule, but it will most probably mean a severe reordering of priorities.

Of course, what happened next surprised everyone, Peter most of all.  After finishing His sermon, Jesus decides to take Peter on a little fishing trip right there, in his own boat.  Peter objects.  He’s been up all night (he’s a bit tired and hungry, hasn’t even had his morning java yet), he’s already lent this guy his boat when he’d rather be sleeping, and now he’s being told to fish waters he already “knows” is a waste of time (this is his own profession, after all.  Sheesh.  Who does this guy think he is?)

“And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!  A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.”

The point is, Peter’s availability proceeded his productivity.  Of course, then his product line changed to a slightly higher order…

I guess I should be prepared for that as well.

Luke 5: 1-3,6,7  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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“Combining” us together (excuse me, couldn’t help it…)

This is a combine:

harvest-1523791_1920

This is a header:

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Actually, that’s only one kind of header; different headers are needed for different jobs.  It’s a far cry from the old back-breaking scythe of past centuries.  Not that modern farming is a walk in the park, since I’m talking about the folks that put in 14-16 hour days to put bread on our tables. 

My friend (who farms) told me recently of a little 2-year-old boy whose mom (another farming family) picked up a toy combine at a garage sale.  Obviously, it was used, and was missing the header, but the boy was so young, mom didn’t think this would be a problem.  Kids that age have great imaginations anyway, right?

Until she gave it to her son, and he remarked, “Where’s the header?  How do you expect me to get any work done without the header?!?”

In my defense, I’m from the ‘burbs, and my milk and bread came from the grocery store.  So evidently, a combine is not as effective (like, at all?) without its header.  Missing pieces in farming equipment mean no more bread on my table, and imaginary bread doesn’t fill the stomach very well.

All this brings to my mind what the Apostle Paul talks about when he compares the Body of Christ to an actual human body.  It’s that crucial idea that we need each other to be fully productive.  If the hand says to the foot “I don’t need you”, then the hand probably isn’t going anywhere!  Finally, Paul makes this simple but essential conclusion:

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

That word, together, is highlighted in my brain.  Even if I’m just a little screw that helps hold the header in place, when I take my part away, (perhaps due to offense, neglect of my health, complacency, whatever), the harvest is at risk.  Of course, this also applies to those around me, the one in the next pew whose part seems dirty and squeaky and maybe even a little rusty.  I need—no, I am accountable, to allow the Lord of the Harvest to put my piece in place with all the other pieces.

So we can get some actual work done, without just pretending.  Even a two-year-old could tell the difference.

1 Corinthians 12:27  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.