For nearly the whole congregation, or for all of them, and especially the men and the children, there was a disconnection between the little white clapboard church with its steeple and bell, it observances and forms of worship, and the world's daily life and work. It was as though the building itself, its emptiness between services, contained along with its smells of old paper and stale perfume a solemnity that the people entered into and departed from, quickening it for a few hours a week with the stirrings and smells of living flesh, but could neither inflect with the tone of their daily preoccupations nor transpose into their actual lives. This was a disconnection perhaps exactly coextensive with the disconnection they felt between Heaven and Sycamore, eternity and time. Laura recognized these disconnections in the people because she felt them, and labored over them, in herself.
- Wendell Berry, "A Desirable Woman"
My grandfather was a farmer. Anyone who knew him knew it was his calling. The Lord fashioned him well for it. He approached people as he approached farming: with patience, care, and wisdom. He was the same inside the church and outside of it. He knew how to connect his faith to his daily living. How I wish I could say the same!
Most nights I crawl into bed wearied by the day, eager to find respite in the Word and sweet slumber. Trying with all my might not to think about how miserably I failed at representing Christ. Like Berry's fictitious Laura and the people of Sycamore, I wrestle with infusing my daily preoccupations with worship. Christine Hoover suggests that gospel illiteracy is to blame - knowing the gospel but not how to apply it, understanding what it means for salvation but not for every day. Yes, I think, that's true.
There's a sadness that comes with knowing my work will not be remembered. Yet acknowledging its futility helps me understand why I close each day feeling overwhelmed by what I didn't accomplish. Checking things off my list is for my own glory (the writer of Ecclesiastes aptly describes it as "vanity"). It is only the work I do "as enabled by and through Christ" that matters (source). Perhaps this is what Paul is referring to in his instruction to the Philippians to work out their salvation (Phil. 2:12). It is in daily work done faithfully and obediently that I acknowledge my helplessness and His sufficiency. It is in that work that I worship.
When I pull back the covers at the end of this day, may I not be tempted to judge it based on my works. May I be able to say that in my work, I worshiped well.