Sunday, February 10, 2013

Full Time

My last post indicated there was a lot going on at both home and work. Another week has passed and I'm almost embarrassed to admit this week has been busier. At the end of the first day of the work week, I surveyed the amount of work assigned and the amount of work completed at my job and mentioned to my boss it might be a good idea for me to work "full time" for the month of February. I think he may have been waiting for me to suggest it because it was approved and implemented immediately. This was the first week since before my 13 year old twins were born that I didn't have a weekday off. And my daughter Maggie was sick. Again. She missed two days of school with another bad cold. One or two of you might be making a judgment about my priorities for not being home with her. You might be right.

My niece is back in America (by way of Australia) and has been visiting Chicago since Thursday. My brother's birthday is tomorrow and we had a nice celebration together yesterday. There was a basketball game, a wrestling meet, a prayer event at church, a Science Olympiad Invitational (Caitlin took third place in one of her events) and a long overdue hair cut. That was the latter 1/2 of the week.

I did the grocery shopping on a Saturday for the first time in years. It was not pleasant. Though the 2 year old boy in the cart in front of me did make the long lines at Walmart a little more bearable as he showed off his matchbox car and played a little hide and seek behind his bag of cookies.

I did laundry and errands on Sunday after church. I know this is how a good chunk of America lives, but I'm still waiting to see how I'll survive it. My husband has been great - giving kids rides, helping with the dishes, dusting, and vacuuming. I suppose I'm waiting to see how he survives it too. The funny thing is what a difference ten hours a week makes.

The really funny thing is that we call 40 hours "full time." What's so full about 40 hours in a week made up of 168? It's a little less than 1/4 of the time. Which means I'm spending 3/4's of my time not at work. I know. I'm babbling. Here's the point.

I am so unavoidably limited in my fullness.

I struggle because the word "full" somehow implies complete to me. It has the connotation of getting something done. Finished. Like filling a coffee cup all the way up to the brim. I just put in a 40 hour work week and let me tell you, I'm not done. I didn't finish my tasks. There are empty cups all over my desk (both literally and figuratively).

So it was a relief this morning in church to hear the sermon about the last Beatitude, "Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God." The pastor reminded us that there's a progression to the Beatitudes and the one before peace is purity. Purity is a little broader than we tend to think it is and yet a little narrower too. Purity extends to all aspects of my thought life, speech and actions, but it basically boils down to just one aim: holiness. As my man Shakespeare would say "therein lies the rub."

My whole life is a journey toward holiness - the problem is I'm never going to arrive this side of heaven. There are limits to what I will achieve on earth and how quickly it is done. I could use that as an excuse not to pursue holiness at all, but I'd be directly disobeying God if I did. He has called me to be a peacemaker. Not 30 hours a week or 40 hours a week, but 168 hours a week I am to bring the peace He has so generously given me in His Son to every person I meet, every building I enter, every situation I'm in.

That's what I call a full time job.

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