This spring has been a little different for me.
In years past, I've taken some substantial trips around this time of year - a roadtrip through Utah and Arizona, a week in Virginia, a camping trip in the Canadian Rockies, to name a few. It's as if, after spending the first few months of the year in the hibernation of home, I like to take the first chance to get out and breathe again.
But this year that transition has been a bit slower, perhaps because this winter was so much darker.
The sun has been shining, and I've been slipping out of my house to spend my hours weeding, planting, and watering. I've been watching while tiny seedlings push up from the earth and while recent bare-root plantings begin to bud and blossom. It's long, slow, daily work and for some reason, it's exactly what I've been craving.
Weeks ago, when the weather was just beginning to shift toward spring, I was listening to a podcast in which the host made a point that stuck with me: We are forever innovating, forever looking for ways to do our work faster and easier - only to have so many hours left over that we must seek out empty entertainment to fill them. What if working faster and easier is not always the best thing? What if there's a purpose to the process of slow, deliberate work that allows us the opportunity to create, like God did in the beginning, especially during all those hours in which we might otherwise just consume?
These are the questions that have been at the forefront of my mind while I slowly come out of winter's hiding, and look out on the sunny world again - while I pull weeds and hand-water my freshly planted landscaping and watch for the signs of new life springing up all around me. I watch the cycle of the seasons and the evolution of a year, and it strikes me that God is not in a hurry. He doesn't rush to complete His to-do list in order to take His Sabbath rest sooner and longer. He just works long, slow, and daily, with spaces for true, satisfied rest in between.
And I don't think it's because He's not able to work faster. I think it's because He chooses not to.
For some reason, the One who spoke the world into existence chose to do so over six separate periods of time - not in a single instant, even though He was able. And then, satisfied, He rested.
Maybe He designed us to do our work in the same way, regardless of what technological advances and "time-savers" we come up with. What, after all, is the point of "saved" time, if it is then spent far more frivolously?
Maybe He made us to live a bit slower than we are technically able, in order to let us bear His image a bit more beautifully - and accurately.
Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one's labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.