I put in a hard, long day of work on Saturday replumbing the sump pump. (Don't even ask. What. A. Mess.) I unplugged the pump at 7:30 a.m. and finally got to plug it back in at about 7 at night. It was a long day of knee-high wading boots, thicker-than-I-care-for mud, clogged pipes, general mess, and a little bit of chaos.
Saturday night's shower felt good.
Which led me to this thought...there are really only two things in the world that feel good in the way that shower felt good. The first is, of course, a refreshing shower (or a nice long bath) after a hard day's work. The second is climbing into a welcoming, cozy bed. Those are the only places you let out that long sigh, that exhausted "ahhhh" and that simple little smile that says this is good.
It is good. Did you know you were created for this?
It's too easy to lose in our world today. Somewhere, we bought into the idea that we were created to work hard, to work incessantly, to exhaust ourselves for the sake of doing. We are told that we are what we do. We are told that we have only what we work for. We are told that if we're not working on something at any given moment, we don't deserve anything. We work 80 hour weeks because there's always something more to do, and we forget that we were created for rest.
Work wasn't hard until Adam ate the fruit. Yes, Adam. With Eve, we got the whole childbirth pains and things. With Adam, toiling and pointless labor. You might even say....fruitless. God created man to tend the earth, but it wasn't until the Fall that tending the earth really became work. It wasn't until after lunch that man became busy. Before that, life was, shall we say, a walk in the Garden.
Then work got hard, and we started to think we had to be working hard all the time. We got the words backward. We have to be ready, and willing, to do the hard work - that's the curse. That work will be hard. But we don't have to work hard all the time. That is, we don't have to push ourselves to always be busy. We were still created for rest. We were created to have a place to unwind and relax and simply rest. That place is in Him.
We don't get a lot of Adam's story after the expulsion. We don't see him outside the Garden. But we continue to see rest set up as an example for God's people. For six years, you work. In the seventh, you rest. For six seasons, you harvest. In the seventh, you rest. For six days, you toil. On the seventh, you don't. Rest has always been part of God's design for man. We just get a little less of it now.
Dirt, too, was not a part of man's story until the Fall. Not that the Garden wasn't messy; just that man didn't care. There was no dirty or clean; everything was naturally as it should be. A little dust here, a little dirt there. It wasn't bad. It just was. Then Adam and Eve discovered they were naked, they saw for the first time what they looked like, and they started to understand imperfection. They started to understand unclean. But it seemed they were always unclean, always soiled by their toiling.
Kind of like we are. We're always dirty. I know I am. I'm always covered in some mess of my own making. But did you know I was created to be made clean? Did you know that some of the dirt and the dust is to be expected and it's ok, but that at the end of the day, I was meant not to know about my dust or my dirt? I wasn't meant to know "unclean." But through the grace of God, I am being made clean.
Yes, I had this entire thought in the shower on Saturday night (too much information?). After a long day's work, I couldn't wait to have a few minutes to wash up and a nice night to rest. But there in the running water, it hit me...
This was more than just well-deserved or long-awaited or fantastic-feeling. This was more than just a simple pleasure. I was created for this.
It's too easy to forget that.