God’s Will and a Paintbrush
I spent virtually every minute of my free time last week behind a paint brush. We’re expecting our second child in about two weeks so it was essential I get the new nursery ready to go. I already had the room cleared out, so all I had to do was paint and move the baby furniture in. While I was at it, our living room (desperately) needed some new paint as well; my wife made it clear that she was not going to suffer hearing-aid beige walls with African safari borders in any more Christmas family photos.
And happily, over the weekend the finishing touches were put on both spaces. The new baby’s room is decorated and ready for the little one. The living room got new drapes, throw pillows and some artwork for the walls. The hard work is done and now I get to enjoy the fruits of that labor.
My favorite kinds of tasks are the ones that I get to see the results of immediately. I get a deep satisfaction from any kind of job I can step back from when it’s done and know the difference I’ve made. Things like, “There was a pile of dirty dishes here but now it’s gone because they’re clean and put away,” or, “The brakes on my car used to squeak and now they don’t.” If I may borrow the language from the Bible, I have exercised dominion over the little patch of creation that I am responsible for and made it better.
I believe strongly that God is pleased when we make even the smallest things better. When we improve the things around us, we fulfill what Jesus prayed for when he asked that the father’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Along the natural pathways of life, some of the ways we make earth a little more like heaven are pretty straightforward, like painting walls, washing dishes and fixing brakes. However, the fruit of much of what we do – the things that touch peoples’ hearts and souls – may not be evident on this side of heaven. Whether we get to see any reward in this lifetime or not makes no difference. We are called to be faithful to the king of all by being servants of all, and to carry that call wherever we go and into whatever we do.
Image courtesy Peter Burka. Sourced via Flickr