Remember we are dust

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“For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.”
Ps. 103 v. 14

Tuesdays are always tiring for me. The days starts with dropping the kids at the bus stop at 7:35. Most days I head into the office by 8:00 and then meetings begin at 9:30. In the afternoon I leave for Philadelphia for a graduate class which meets from 2:00-4:00, and then I jump back on 309 north to Bethlehem, usually getting home with time enough to eat dinner before leaving for Cub Scouts at 6:15 until about 8:00.

It’s a long day. I doubt that what I’ve recounted here is markedly different from what many of you experience regularly.

There’s nothing wrong with long days. There’s nothing wrong with hard work. Like most things in life, however, wisdom comes in finding what Aristotle called “the golden mean”–the desirable and virtuous middle between two extremes, one of deficiency and the other of excess.

Some of us battle the temptation to work at all hours, neglecting our families, our health, our spiritual lives, our friends. Our culture rewards this, and the workaholic receives almost instant gratification. It’s easy to become self-righteously busy.

Others–sometimes those who in the past have been workaholic–struggle with a deficiency in work. Ministry is, for them, a retreat with work inserted periodically. The boundaries around work time are strict and inflexible. Generous time off is taken in whenever a time boundary appears to have been transgressed. It’s possible to become self-righteously indolent.

If I’m honest with myself, I’ve probably been at both of these extremes for limited periods at different times during my twelve years of vocation Christian ministry.

Do we have to choose between frenetic activity or indolence? 

I don’t think so.

God knows that we have limits, and that each of us has different limits. In this series of posts, we’ll unpack a single idea in various different ways:

Each of us is called to live and work sacrificially and to the glory of God

and

That sacrifice must be sustainable

If we are to be living sacrifices, there must be a way for us to live sacrificially and do so in a sustainable way, a way that doesn’t extinguish the flame of our faith, exhaust our physical strength, or destroy us emotionally.

Join me to explore what that kind of faith looks like.

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