The glory of the grind; the sliver lining in the cloud

Voices of Religion

Posted: Friday, June 29, 2007

It was a Saturday afternoon in June. My partner, Bill Gannon, and I were working the day watch out of the mid-town office. My name is Friday, Joe Friday. I'm a cop.

The weather? Well, let's just say the weather was the kind we only speak well of when we are talking to tourists ... like: "Oh yes, this is true Alaska weather; one of the four seasons, you know: almost winter, winter, still winter and summer (Last year, summer came on Aug. 21.)." The rest of the time we are good Americans. That is we gripe ... a lot.

Actually, my partner is my wife, who I call "Friend Wife." Our assignment on that Saturday, was domestic violence.

She answered the call while I was finishing up some paperwork in the office.

The problem: two neighborhood families were at it again the dandelions were pressuring the strawberries to get out and let them take over.

You should know something about my partner. She's willing to get her hands dirty when she starts to work on this kind of case. She has no sympathy with weeds ... none at all. The way she manhandles them is something to see. I stand back and watch in awe as she cleans up the neighborhood.

But I digress. I suddenly thought that, perhaps my partner might need some backup. So I went out to offer my assistance. She was doing just fine. So I applauded her fine work and started back to the house.

Then I saw it!

It was one of those things, at one of those times that make it all worthwhile. All the work and sweat yes, and even tears. She had turned the sprinkler on to help one section of the yard along. As I walked toward the house, the refraction of the sunlight in the sprinkler spray revealed a glorious rainbow.

"Look, Janice, at the glorious colors," said I.

"What colors?" she said. "I don't see any."

"Come over here," I said.

She came and suddenly there it was, a brilliant panorama of shades from violet to red. What a sight.

The simple act of watering a lawn just took on a special beauty that made the mundane task of hooking up a hose and placing the sprinkler something very special.

Friend Wife's mundane task of planting flowers, watering, mowing the grass and pulling weeds has a certain glory, a beauty that makes the grind worth it.

Has your life somehow lost its luster? Have you become so enmeshed in the daily drudgery that you have missed the joy and beauty of living it for God?

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men," Colossians 3:23. It is a great challenge.

Mothers who faithfully clean house, do the laundry and tend to children sometimes lose sight of the glory of the grind.

Dads who are consistently on the job, providing for the family and encouraging the next generation may lose sight of the big picture in the mundane routine of life.

Students also need to be reminded that there is a glory in the grind of a life lived with eternity's values in view.

The apostle Paul put it this way: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life," Revelations 2:10.

So, even though I am not Joe Friday, and Friend Wife and I are not bringing criminals to justice, we do have a sense of the glory of the grind as we seek to live our lives pleasing to God. How about you?

Charles Thornton is pastor at-large of Peninsula Grace Brethren Church, 44175 Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna. Sunday worship is at 11 a.m. and Bible classes are at 9:30 a.m.

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