Work (The First Convergence Dialog)

I found myself in a fantastic place, at a convergence; as if between two lenses: one lens as a mirror reflecting back in time, the other as a telescope projecting into the future.

Were I a train traveling through time, and were my rails made of purest light:

the left rail streaming forth from my past, the right rail bringing light from my future, all three would meet, myself, the right, the left, bending at this one point upon my horizon.

And here I stood, at the point of convergence, and like light arriving from two distant stars, two images appeared:  one young and one old; and here before me stood these men. And I recognized myself in them—as they began to speak—the younger first:

“Of what purpose does worldly work serve? Why must I do this worldly work?”

“Work is a tutor and a guardian. It is a gracious distraction, to keep you busy with trivialities. Until you are ready to seek God with all your heart and all your time, to seek His kingdom first, until then you will work in the world. Lest in your idleness you should fall further away from Him, through apathy and laziness.”

“You’re telling me work is for my benefit then? It feels like a chronic curse; the tedium, the weariness, the never ending busy ness.”

“For now, serve God by serving others. Seeking to know God is not trivial, that is the only non-trivial thing we can do, but we are not ready, or willing to do this, so until we learn that only God is meaningful, and only seeking Him gives our lives lasting purpose, we are occupied with other work which, though trivial, still trains us in the habit of effort, perseverance and service. And even this is better than a life of idleness.”

I’m glad the younger asked such questions of the older, for my troubles were much the same as his.

“I must return now to my work,” the elder said, “the work of prayer and devotion. But I will leave you with this final thought on your work before I go:

“Work makes us men, training out the child within us. But spiritual work makes us children of God, training out the worldly man within us.”

And with that, the images in the lenses faded, their light returning to their proper times, and I reflected on the value of work. I liked what the elder said about this, and resolved to keep this in my heart:

“Work makes us men, training out the child within us. But spiritual work makes us children of God, training out the worldly man within us.”



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