These days this corner of the world seems dark and perpetually rainy and cold. The culture is more often cold and unfriendly than warm or hospitable. Work, which is usually a source of great happiness for me, today completely humbled me and reminded me of how much I don't know. And although these disappointments are so very small compared to the hardships of others, I feel deflated right now. Is this what it's all about? Is this what I can expect from my adult life? Constant work with no guarantees of fulfillment or success? Disappointment by other people? Rain until the end of eternity?!? (I should clarify here: I AM BEING DRAMATIC AND A LITTLE HORMONAL RIGHT NOW. My internship is going fine, my instructors are excellent and they are great to me, and I'm doing a decent job for a student, but I am not living up to my own expectations and that is just painful.)
At times like these, I seek comfort in our home. Cleaning it, organizing it, decorating it, filling it with people we love, music, conversation and good food. It's my instinct, and it feels completely indulgent and soothing. All week long I've been thinking about this thoughtful post from one of my favorite bloggers, Darby, and relating it to my own life. The post talks about how we tend to compartmentalize our lives into serving (helping people in need, teaching Bible class, cleaning the toilets, etc.) and all the other parts of living (cooking, having fun with friends, homemaking, etc.) In her post she poses the question, how can we glorify God even when we are doing the things that we love - things that we do for our own fulfillment? She quotes a devotional book by Tozer, "Paul’s exhortation to “do all to the glory of God” is more than pious idealism. It is an integral part of the sacred revelation and is to be accepted as the very Word of Truth. It opens before us the possibility of making every act of our lives contribute to the glory of God. Lest we could be too timid to include everything, Paul mentions specifically eating and drinking. This humble privilege we share with the beasts that perish. If these lowly animal acts can be so performed as to honor God, then it becomes difficult to conceive of one that cannot."
Over the course of the week as I returned to my home, my refuge, each evening with gratitude in my heart, the meaning of these words has become clear to me. I'm so thankful for the sanctuary that is our home. I'm so thankful that after a disappointing day (or week) I can come here and cook and write and do laundry and be with my little family and our friends. And even though I know that I honor God by serving others, I believe that doing these things that I love is living to the glory of God too because when my comfort and happiness translate into thankfulness, God is glorified. May I always thank You, God, and acknowledge You as the source of everything good in my life.
And then there are these wise words from Ecclesiastes. They are completely candid, and speak directly to this hopeless feeling that creeps in when we (I) get too wrapped up in our own success and failure. I believe these words with all my heart.
"A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment?"