Saw my friend Harry down at the recycle center the other day. No big deal until you consider he had stapped two large totes of recyclables on the back of his bicycle and delivered it to the center. I was amazed and admire Harry's stick-to-it-iveness. When I told him how impressed I was, he responded, "Oh it's nothing. I do it often." Hmmm, his casual approach to a job that I grumble about got me to thinking.
What do I complain about; what do I embrace and do with purpose and joy; what do I pass on to somebody else to do? After seeing and talking to Harry I was reminded of this image taken while in Malawi Africa. It was definitely a 'double take' moment.
This Malawian probably does this task everyday in order to provide for him and his family. It is a way of life and at some level a necessity. Harry does the same kinds of tasks out of necessity and purpose. He doesn't think it out of the ordinary to strap totes on his bike and head to the center. He just does it.
Holy Week began yesterday as we celebrated Palm and Passion Sunday in worship. The story of great joy and deep anguish was woven together to display the resolute nature of Jesus Christ's journey toward the cross. The struggle of His task will be wrestled with in the next few days as we recount the Garden of Gethsemane narrative. Throughout this brooding week, we'll remember Jesus' words to his parents.
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
(Luke 2:49, NIV)
Jesus carried with him an innate sense of obedience to His Father and sought to follow through with purpose and resolve. Nothing could deter Jesus from fulfilling His call. If we could have asked Jesus why he would embrace a painful death he may have responded with this:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is
the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the
last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal
life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:38-40, NIV)
It's likely we'll never be called to die on behalf of another. So, Monday's task for us is to embrace our call to follow Jesus and to be in prayer for our neighborhood. Pray for the person living on the right and the left of your home. Pray for them by name. One does not have to carry the weight of the world. Jesus does that.