Daily Bread

Knock­ing Down Pins

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

Read: Ec­cle­si­astes 1:3-11

I was in­trigued when I no­ticed a tat­too of a bowl­ing ball knock­ing down pins on my friend Erin’s an­kle. Erin was in­spired to get this unique tat­too af­ter lis­ten­ing to Sara Groves’s song, “Set­ting Up the Pins.” The clever lyrics en­cour­age lis­ten­ers to find joy in the repet­i­tive, rou­tine tasks that some­times feel as point­less as man­u­ally set­ting up bowl­ing pins over and over again, only to have some­one knock them down.

Laun­dry. Cook­ing. Mow­ing the lawn. Life seems full of tasks that, once com­pleted, have to be done again—and again. This isn’t a new strug­gle but an old frus­tra­tion, one wres­tled with in the Old Tes­ta­ment book of Ec­cle­si­astes. The book opens with the writer com­plain­ing about the end­less cy­cles of daily hu­man life as fu­tile (1:2–3), even mean­ing­less, be­cause “what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again” (v. 9).

Yet, like my friend, the writer was able to re­gain a sense of joy and mean­ing by re­mem­ber­ing our ul­ti­mate ful­fill­ment comes as we “fear [rev­er­ence] God and keep his com­mand­ments” (12:13). There’s com­fort in know­ing that God val­ues even the or­di­nary, seem­ingly mun­dane as­pects of life and will re­ward our faith­ful­ness (v. 14).

What are the “pins” you’re con­tin­u­ally set­ting up? In those times when repet­i­tive tasks be­gin to feel tir­ing, may we take a mo­ment to of­fer each task to God as an of­fer­ing of love.

How might you do a task dif­fer­ently to­day know­ing God val­ues it? How does know­ing this bring mean­ing to the mun­dane?

Heav­enly Fa­ther, thank You for giv­ing value to the or­di­nary ac­tiv­i­ties of life. Help us to find joy in the tasks be­fore us to­day.

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