Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: STRESSED - Begins January 18 / Ends January 25 (01/18/18)
TITLE: Work Ethic
By Rachel Rudd
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Anyone would have assumed these about her.
But they only knew half the truth.
Shuffling the song papers, Laura tried to organize her thoughts at the same time. But her thoughts were as active as her classroom full of first graders. Are these songs ok? The service would begin soon. Would her playing be good today? Why am I not feeling the presence of the Lord?
That morning, studying and praying had been her number one priority, even before cleaning the spilled cornflakes and breadcrumbs. Seek the Lord while he may be found. But how much?
Struggling to do enough was a commandment to Laura. All her life she had been told to read the Bible more, pray more, and work more. So that’s what she did.
I love you, Lord, and I want to serve you. Am I missing something?
“Hey Laura, how did the clean up day go?” Her friend, Sarah, made her jump off the piano bench.
“You scared me!”
“I’m sorry. I guess you were deep in thought, but I just wanted to know how yesterday went.”
“Well, there weren’t that many of us, but we got the work done. There was a lot of trash after we renovated the fellowship hall! Now, we just need to get things set up for the pot luck this evening.”
“Don’t you ever rest, Laura?”
“Rest? Not sure what you mean by that.” She bobbed her like an ant inside a glass farm. “Gotta stay busy. How was the movie last night?”
“Hey now, you’re just trying to change the subject! You really do need to take it easy.”
“There’s just too much to do! I feel like I can never do enough for the Lord. He has done so much for me! But anyway, how was the movie?”
“Well, the main character, Paul, worked and worked all his life and he found out that he could never earn his way to heaven.” She nudged Laura’s arm.
“Hey, I know that!”
“I know you do. I’m just teasing because I’m concerned about you. With three kids, a full time job and all your work here at the church, you’re going to burn yourself out.”
“I feel like that sometimes, but it’s okay. I believe the Lord will give me strength.”
“Yeah, but have you ever thought about that even Jesus took naps?”
Laura chuckled. “I hadn’t considered that, but when would I even have time for that?”
Sarah grinned, “How ‘bout you rent a fishing boat?”
Laura shook her head at the ludicrous idea. “I might as well fly to Mars for a vacation.”
“Well, I heard that their signing up for volunteers.” Sarah grabbed the paper stack from the piano and tapped Laura’s hair. “I just think that something’s gotta give. Anyway, is this the line up for today?”
“Yep, I even included your favorite.”
“Amazing Grace? Awesome.”
The stage began to fill with the worship team and Laura pushed the conversation aside. But Laura couldn’t forget the friendly admonishment. Something did have to give, but what?
After the room was full, a gray haired pastor stepped behind the microphone and cleared his throat, “I want to start today‘s service off with a verse that’s been on my heart this week. I Corinthians 15:10, No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that is with me. I’ll talk more about this later, but right now just let God speak to you through those words. He pushed his glasses up and nodded to the worship team.
Laura missed the first chords of the song, but it didn’t even register that they continued without her. Words that had never been highlighted before hailed her attention. Grace. Not I, but grace in me. Christ in me.
She always felt like a laborer marching toward an unreachable hill. But what if that Maker of that hill was the one who wants to do all the work? Through me.
Now that was something worth singing about!
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