“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:10, NASB).
What happens if you start watering but never make it to the far end? What about weeding your garden, but not getting around to mulching? Oops, I think I just stepped on my own toes right there. I’ll tell you what happens then. You get to enjoy a nice-looking garden for about two weeks. In a month, it’s a weed patch, and all your hard work has been in vain.
Speaking of weeding, this particular task often needs all your might . Proper weeding is not for sissies. My Dad’s huge vegetable garden was picture perfect, with neat rows and nary a weed. He spent long hours after work tending it, and it built up his impressive muscles to a point where he never met a man who could best him at arm wrestling.
If you plant a tree, you had better make a hole that is big enough. If you get tired of digging and set the rootball too shallow, it is less likely to thrive.
So when it comes to our spiritual life, why is it that we “wimp out” with so little exercise?
In some circles, if you don’t work out regularly at a gym, you are held in disdain by those who do. But we get a pass if we don’t exercise our spiritual faculties.
“For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).
We may start a Bible reading schedule, only to abandon it within a few weeks because we are so “busy.” We might intend to pray regularly for people, for missions, for our own growth; but that sometimes we lose our enthusiasm to do this all the time.
Our benevolent works may start out with a lot of energy, but we lose our momentum. We start teaching a children’s Bible class with armloads of visuals, crafts, and games, only to slow down to a more mundane presentation later in the year.
It is not always easy to keep the momentum up for any good activity, whether physical or spiritual.
But the verse has a deadline. Jesus said, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).
Since our own personal “expiration date” is not known to us, we tend to act as if it doesn’t exist.
“Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry,” said the man in the parable Jesus taught in Luke 12. But God had more accurate information about this man’s allotted days. In fact, his time was up that very night.
There is a time to rest, and God even commanded it by instituting the Sabbath day in the old covenant.
Since most of us don’t take a full day of rest in this day and age, maybe we tend to work a little slower, or not with our full energy. It is possible also that we do not take our spiritual “work” as seriously as we should.
There are numerous benches in my garden to sit and enjoy the flowers. However, without the hard work, those resting places would not be nearly as enjoyable.
Let’s get to work!