I am a school teacher. When it comes to getting my classroom work done, I am my own boss, for the most part. I decide what happens in my classroom and how it happens and when it happens. I find myself often with a list of never ending job demands. I think of the old adage, “Man works from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.” (This feels true especially as a school teacher and home owner who is single, but then the males in this world may have a different opinion. I have not asked them.) On this particular Saturday, I knew that there were things screaming for my attention in the classroom and in my home. Although the sunny, crisp morning beckoned me to stay home, I made the decision that the classroom would hold the priority of the day.
Walking out the door, I ignored the telltale signs of strewn laundry waving silent hands, the dirty dishes’ silent screams in the sink, and the accusatory eyes of the miscellaneous collection on the table. I pulled the door firmly shut behind me quieting the shouting insults of my unattended chores. It had been one of those weeks where my abode had become a convenience store of buying rest and food as needed. This should have been a day to pull together the loose ends in my house. I sighed inwardly. I promised myself that I would be home by early afternoon as I trudged off to work. I envisioned perhaps sitting a spell and reading before I left for the evening.
Entering my classroom, I mentally began prioritizing the things that needed my attention. I pulled out my planner, and began projecting lesson plans for the next few weeks. I was soon lost in the textbooks, lesson strategies, teaching methodologies, and assignments. A couple hours sped by, and before I knew it, early afternoon made its appearance. Thinking I was ready to leave, I looked around the classroom in dismay. I had left the classroom the day before in quite a hurry since we had our school’s annual pork roast fund raiser that evening. I quickly moved around the classroom wrapping up the week’s work and prepared for Monday morning. I finally locked the classroom door at 4:00 P.M. I felt disappointment that most of the afternoon had been spent in the classroom, yet I was still grateful to have a couple hours to attend to house chores.
I no more then stepped into my house when my plans totally changed. After a short phone conversation, I agreed to accompany my friend in picking up a few people an hour away. I had been busy all day, but now I would be able to sit for two and half hours straight with nothing to do, but visit while we drove. The tensions and demands of the day flew out the window as we drank in the circus of autumn colors in northwest Pennsylvania. Much later we finally sat down to a delicious dinner and quiet talk. When I came home, it was bedtime. There was no miracle maid bustling about my house while I was gone, but somehow the house chores that had silently screamed this morning had yawned and gone to sleep. I often recall what my mother used to tell me, “The work will always wait for you another day, and if there is not another day, then you don’t have to worry about it anyway.”
Some days things will not always go as we anticipate. There always will be work to do. We can never work so far ahead that all work and responsibilities will be forever behind us. Every minute we live has the possibility for one more responsibility and one more chore. Our attitude makes all the difference in our level of peace in those moments. In the midst of living with jobs and responsibility, we need to take time to embrace life as it comes. Jesus did that. When people needed a message, He preached. When the sick needed restoration, He healed. When people needed food, He fed the hungry. When people needed comfort, He spoke encouragement. When people were exhausted from the duties of life, He had words for them. These words are intended for you and me, too. . .
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden,
And I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you,
And learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
And ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.