As a mother, she has toiled many restless hours in a job that could bring home the sustenance of her dependents. Her wrinkled 70-year old face and advanced symptoms of rheumatoid athritis reflect her early years of selflessness. She exhibits the epitome of motherhood, one who has been specially capable of being the sole breadwinner, a mother, a teacher, my best friend, a comforter, a listener. Not a day in her life was spent idling. Not a day in her life was jobless. Not once did she place herself above others in her family. The labour of her hands has provided me with food, shelter, an education, and a life that is worth mentioning. As I reflect on today's devotional material and its reference to 2 Thessalonians 3:7-13, I begin to weep. I visualise my mother's hands. Feeble and boney as they may appear, they are the very miracle God gave to give me the life and the potential of a brighter future.
There is no way to repay all that she has done for me. I've done my best yet I feel the guilt of not having given her the best she deserves. My recent loss of vocation creates a void in my life. Already the guilt of not providing enough, morever now, the additional guilt of not having an income to provide for her in her old age. I scorn myself for the incapacity, for the idle hours I now assume because I have not been able to find my day's wages.
Similarly, I feel a larger responsibility towards God. He has given me immeasurable talent and skills. When I left the corporate world in 1997 to heed the calling into the business world, I took the biggest challenge of my life to embark on a totally new journey that was filled with risk and uncertainty. A few years into the business and I knew the calling was right, that I'd never return to employment. Here I am, 8 years after I've started the business, in an inoperable state. I either have to find a new breakthrough or remain in a losing game. I made a strenous effort to connect to people, to bluntly ask for help, in my endless search to recharge. Yet, months later, I am still "stuck in the rut". And when the very words of 2 Thess 3:10 echoes in my head "..If a man will not work, he shall not eat", the more rudderless I think of myself.
One day, I was watching this man on the street. He was begging and upon him were tattered torn clothes. His feet were dirty and spottily bruised. Pedestrians walked briskly away from him. His eyes looked drained from the lack of proper rest. In his hand was an empty bowl. He could have been sitting there for days and nights. Yet the labour of his hands may not have earned him a decent meal. Here I was clean, clothed and not hungry. At that instance, I felt so blessed.
No doubt I am faced with obstacles and discouragement but the very fact that God has given me this passage to wake me up not only from my bout of depression but also to warn me against laziness that I could soon fall trap to. Brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, we all have a weakness. As Christians in the marketplace, we constantly struggle with corporate corruption and the unrelenting fight to end corporate oppression. Yet the battle does not seem to extirpate. And like me, many stop fighting and start raising the white flag of defeat.
At this juncture, I believe God is telling me not to give up searching for possible sources of income. I have prayed ceaselessly for new opportunities to surface but so far the journey has been in vain. If God has given me the message to go forth and work, I believe the time is ripe for re-sowing the seed of faith, and planting the labor of my hands into what God is about to present to me. I shall be faithful till the end.
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