I sat on the stone tile floor yesterday for the third time with a child guilty of crimes brought before me by a sibling equally as guilty of being a tattletale. As I tell my kids, there’s no getting around being touched by another’s sin. It’s just gonna happen so you better get good at forgiving one another because your skin-to-sin contact is inevitable.
I sat there as his dark eyes pooled with tears and he explained why he had hit his brother, interrupted by sniffles of regret I listened giving him a second to breath and think through his reactive tendencies.
Some days are so full of training.
Here I am in the middle of searching out justice for my boys, quietly praying for God’s wisdom and a covering of patience to rightly administer the proper correction. All the while secretly noticing how dusty and dirt covered the stairs are and how the laundry is stretching it’s sleeves into the hallway near me like a thief trying to steal my joy. The washer has stopped spinning and needs to be shifted to the right and I’ve still not gotten around to painting the wainscoting staring me in the face a mere two feet in front of my nose.
In all my thoughts of “to-dos” I hear in my heart, Be about the Father’s business.
My soul clutches tightly to the words and cradles them, agreeing with the Holy Spirit’s timely antidote to this moment. I regain my focus on the child in front of me and no longer keep tabs on the laundry, the dust or the faded paint. I see the Father’s business and I get to being about it, offering a simple loaf and fish, truth and punishment to those involved.
All day I hear those words, be about the Father’s business. When math concepts are hard to learn and hard to teach I find the heart of God in just being a companion to the brows pinched in frustration beside me.
A breath of free space in my day to write some words that birth themselves through my daily steps are interrupted by unthawed beef I forgot to remove from the freezer that morning. With dinner prep hour quickly approaching and encroaching a rare moment meant for me, be about the Father’s business, is whispered again in my ear and this time it reminds me not to grumble at a lack of time for myself.
Ground beef sizzles in the iron pan as potatoes soften in boiling water next to it. Six beautiful people will round the table tonight, empty bellies and grateful hearts looking to me for the warmth of another meal. I hear the porch door open and see the numbers on the stove clock match the sound of work boots being stamped off and untied in the front room. Immediately wanting to unload my day and duties onto him for a quick bit of relief, it plays again in my heart to be about the Father’s business, serve Him by serving him. So Instead I listen to the stories from his 10 hours apart from us and find it did me well to give rather than take.
In the moment it would be easy to be about my business, to be about serving my desires, my ideas, voicing my frustrations and my needs, pushing aside the actual job God destined me for; The Father's business.
And the business of God is a beautiful thing, a deeply rich and purpose-filled kind of work. It’s His business that says, take the time to teach, I’ll be sure to give you rest. It’s His business that whispers, do not let your worry about tomorrow stop up your ears from hearing the details of another’s today, I hold your tomorrow in my right hand and I’ll not let it crush you. It’s the business of the Father that says, I’ve come to lighten your load, so do your work as unto the Lord, but not out of breath, endurance is my gift to you.
The business of God doesn’t focus so much on my comfort as it does the care of others. It doesn’t put first my needs but asks me to bend to my knees for theirs. It’s never about my rituals, my standards or my desires but rather teaches me to arch all my rigid ways to sway in service to others. God's business asks me to look first to those requesting care requiring only that I request His strength in the process.
So wherever you are today, whatever your task may be, be about the Father’s business.
"My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass." Psalm 102:11