A Hard Days Work

"...there is only one thing that a drama cannot depict—that is a hard day's work."

Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith) (2009-10-04). What's Wrong with the World (pp. 55-56). Public Domain Books.

Hard working auto technician taking a break.

The Judge's Quest

Once upon a time there was a busy judge dedicated to justice, public service, and his profession. He was a good man. He had a beautiful wife and three children. His only shortcoming was he didn't have time for his family. After coming home from work he would retreat to his study. When his family entered and spoke to him, he would answer but rarely looked up from his work. He found, that if he did, it took awhile to find his place again.

The judge was appointed to head up a special committee to evaluate sentencing guidelines and make recommendations for revisions. He studied the guidelines and organized everything using a chart he invented. He felt really good about his work up to that point. However, something was missing. He felt he needed a benchmark; a starting place to use for measuring the seriousness of all the lesser crimes.

He lost sleep over the question. One day, a friend suggested, "You might try asking the wisest person in the world. He lives on the top of a very high mountain without any phone service or Internet access. You would have to scale the mountain on foot alone though. He's very picky about that." The judge answered, "If there is such a person, I'll find him. Thank you for the suggestion."

The judge did a little research on the Internet and found where the mountain was and drove there alone. He parked his car at the trailhead parking lot. People were walking around everywhere while others waited and socialized at the picnic area eating and sharing what they brought with them. Cars and pickup trucks continually entered and left the parking lot.

The judge noticed that people entering the trailhead looked fresh and alert while those exiting looked raggedy and exhausted. He grabbed his backpack with water and provisions and began his journey. He climbed and climbed. He had many close calls and suffered scrapes, hunger, and thirst along the way. The closer he got to the top, the fewer people he saw. He was weary and alone when he reached the summit. He slowly approached the old sage.

She sat stoic and still as he approached. He noticed a chair facing her and sat down. She suddenly asked him, "What is your question judge?" Her voice was calm and inquisitive. He was startled she knew him because she didn't have a phone or Internet access and never left the mountain. "aHmmmm," he said, clearing his throat. He wanted to speak clearly. He looked up at her and asked, "What is the greatest crime?" She looked into his eyes for a moment with a penetrating gaze that seemed to reflect back out again. In sorrow and kindness she answered, "To not look into the eyes of our children."

The Value of Simple Needful Work

As I was picking up trash with my nifty trash picker, my mind wandered to my mother's words, "If you're going to be a  [insert occupation here] be the best [insert occupation here] there is." You could paraphrase that with, "Whatever you choose to do, let your ego drive you to be the best." Ego driven work is most anything that requires brains or a high degree of skill. It's work where you manifest and demonstrate who YOU are!!!

The thought that crossed my mind in my mother's voice was, "If you're going to pick up trash be the BEST trash picker-upper there is." It made me laugh because it didn't motivate me. Picking up trash is not an ego driven activity. Then, it dawned on me that there are two types of work. Our ego motivates us sometimes and need motivates us other times. I know that most of us work because we need to get paid and in that sense all work we get paid to do is need driven. However, I'm thinking of work in the moment - as we're working.

I've gone through school. I passed my exams. I've proven how smart I am. (please note, comment made with sarcasm and self-deprecation). I went on to get paid a lot of money for doing what I was trained to do. I was manifesting and expressing MYSELF and turning that expression of ME into cash!!! WHOA! This is fun!

Now, here I am picking up trash. I had some free time. The trash accumulates if no one picks it up. The trash makes the place look trashy and creates a subconscious impression in customers' minds about our business. I pick up trash because it needs to be done.

I think you can get addicted to ego driven work. You come home from work and you can't get motivated to do any house or yard work. You can't get yourself to walk your dog. You can't get yourself to go to the store or cook dinner for your family. You end up paying someone to do all these things and you eat out a lot. Need driven work just doesn't do anything for you. You might be addicted to the ego.

I believe most ego driven work could also be accomplished from the perspective of fulfilling a need. There may be many good and wise people with pure hearts doing just that. However, for those chained to our egos, many needful tasks await. These tasks may deprive our egos but offer fulfillment in other small ways. I imagine these tasks as ego deprivation chambers. Some may have to proceed cautiously. In some patients, a loss of equilibrium and even a value shift may occur. However, those freed of their egos have reported increased humility, a clean house, beautiful yard, orderliness, a healthy diet, an economical lifestyle, contentment, and peace of mind.

A Meditation and a Personal Message

I'm a little late in sharing this but I thought I would share it anyway.

The cross is real to me because it was real to God. Real God touched our world in a powerful way on the cross and in his resurrection. His "touch" generated waves impacting my life uniquely and my subjective rational impression is "It's God." My emotional response is wonder with thanksgiving and I want others to know.

Psalm 118:27 - God is the LORD; he has shined upon us;
form a procession with branches up to the horns of the altar.

I John 4:19 - We love him, because he first loved us.

I've decided to move to Atlanta. I will stay with my sister in the Decatur area while I look for a job in the legal field as a paralegal or attorney. My parents live on the other side of Atlanta. Linda and Joseph will come later - after schools over and after I get settled in.

For those I may not have the opportunity to say goodbye to in person - Goodbye. I'll visit from time to time so if I don't get to say goodbye now, I'll just say hello later. I met many wonderful believers through Cursillo. I particularly enjoyed the Men's bible study on Friday mornings and everyone there. Leading morning prayer was a meaningful faith sharing experience and I thank Alston for that opportunity.

My first order of business when I get there is to find a church. I plan on visiting the Holy Trinity Parish once I get to Decatur but I'm not too sure. If anyone has any impressions of churches around Decatur, let me know. God Bless.