Thursday, August 13, 2009

Keeping On . . .

Summer offers so many pleasures. Ball games in the front yard, picnics in the back. But summer won't last indefinitely. Days are shorter now, just a bit, and here and there a leaf or two has turned. Summer is still clearly in charge, but it isn't hard to imagine the cooler days that are coming soon.
This has been a summer of housework and homework for me. Among other things, we're cleaning out the garage -- who knew cleaning out a garage could become a career choice? And I've been in school, stitching together all the educational pieces I've collected over the years. By next May I'll have a degree to show for it. Stir in a family wedding, new babies, and assorted other changes, and it's been a busy time.
There is a lot of satisfaction in finishing things, putting some kind of order where before there wasn't much. We don't always get to do a lot of that. Much of my life I've been a mom, and that is not a job where you see too many immediate results.
But this summer has been a good reminder that most finishings represent a lot of little steps, a lot of little things, faithfully done. I think they represent the endurance Paul writes about in Romans, when he talks about what difficulties accomplish in us. Sometimes our difficulties seem small or insignificant, and we don't want to make too much of them, but still they have a way of tripping us up. And yet, if we hold onto hope, if we persevere, our character is formed by the things that seem, at least for a season, difficult.
We just have to keep on keeping on, doing what we are supposed to do, doing what we are called to do, doing the next right thing.

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