As Seriously as Our Shredded Dignity Demands, Part Three

For me the habit of rising late in the morning, turning on the television and sitting there 'bone idle' is just about the guiltiest-feeling thing one could do. According to my anxious conscience, non-industriousness is one of the most shameful sins. Mind you, I'm not saying my conscience helps me be more industrious—it doesn't. I'm just not driven in fact by the puritanical work ethic. That is, I am not driven to get out and get money six days a week. I do not wrack my brain trying to figure out ways to get other peoples' money and get it into my bank account. Sometimes I wish I had more of that in my system.

But no, I usually just do the work that finds me. And it does usually find me. I am blessed to be on the first-call list at Measurement, Inc. We don't work all the time, five or six months out of the year at the most. When they call I go. I work hard for them.

Then when the test-scoring season is over it seems like someone will usually call me to do some remodeling work. It's not my favorite thing to do but I'm thankful to be asked and I always try to do a good job and not waste their money.

And so this year when the test-scoring season was over we were told there would be no more projects till February of next year. We asked again and were told sympathetically, there are absolutely no more projects in the pipeline for this year. And so I went home, deposited my last paycheck and paid as many bills with it as I could.

After that the bills started to pile up. I get a good feeling from paying living expenses with money I worked for. But if there is no money then there is no good feeling; just the opposite, there is anxiety.

Now, you are probably thinking, 'where is your faith, Joe?' And you very well should be thinking that because it is a pertinent question. But do me a favor and don't be so quick on the draw, will you? I believe God is taking care of us but I don't believe He guarantees to "show us the money" every time.

And so, on the morning of September 18 when I watched a movie on TV instead of attempting to do some work that might (possibly) bring me some income, I found the last thing I expected—a message from God. There is nothing like a message from God to fill one with a sense of meaning.

When I sense meaning I want to write. In this case the Dallas Willard writing was on deck in my mind so, here's that last paragraph of the three:

Our hunger for significance is a signal of who we are and why we are here, and it also is the basis of humanity's enduring response to Jesus. For he always takes individual human beings as seriously as their shredded dignity demands, and he has the resources to carry through with his high estimate of them.

And so, when it comes to our sense of significance, we are not satiated and never will be in this life—not by a long shot. For most of us and for most of our lives we will have to be satisfied with the hunger alone. But there is a greatness just in the hungering after a thing that comes from God.

For the significance, the meaning, the life, the love that comes from God is an eternal thing, and a heavenly thing. It is a substance that has to do with God's kingdom. And hunger in the kingdom of God is like no other kind of hunger. For in the hunger is the food. And with God always—to hunger is to be filled.

Spirit of Prayer

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