If you live in Saint Louis and you are feeling a little like a failure in your job one day, visit our school’s library and ask to see their copy of the Usborne Internet Linked Medieval World. Don’t bother reading the book if you don’t want to, just take a look at the contact paper on the cover. You will wipe away tears of laughter. It really deserves a sticker that says, “I had one job. . . ”
This week I covered about twenty paper back books in contact paper to protect them for our library. I have been working for our school library since we got back from Canada processing more than 100 new books for the start of the school year. For the most part it has been a pretty easy and enjoyable job, but the very last step, the one I had put off until three days past the last minute, was contact paper for the paperbacks. It is the sort of job that really needs precision, attention to detail and, honestly, my friend Becky. But the books didn’t have Becky. The books had me. Medieval World is bearing the scars.
The summary description of my Meyer’s Briggs profile says: “They get very excited about new ideas and projects, but may neglect the more routine aspects of life.” Translation: I don’t like doing laundry, or the dishes, or contact paper, or things that I have deemed to be meaningless. For years I have struggled to find the mystic secret to doing the tedious to the glory of God. I have supposed that if I could unlock some hidden purpose in the task that I would therefore find joy in doing them.
Wednesday evening Ben Porter kicked off our Midweek gatherings with a devotional from Genesis 1:1. Using as his text, “in the beginning, God. . ,” Ben pointed out that all of creation exists for the glory of God. That is our purpose. He created each of us, wrote and numbered our days, and orders our steps, all for His glory. The question is not *how* do I do contact paper, or fold laundry, or wash dishes to the glory of God. The fact is that in some way, by doing those things I bring glory to God. The joy is not in the doing, but in the One who determined I would so do it.
I don’t really understand the mystery of God’s glory and man’s responsibility. I know for a fact that my contact paper job on Medieval World would point one more to the brokenness of creation than to the infinite Glory of a sovereign God. I just know that on Monday I contact papered to the glory of God and tomorrow I will be potty training to the glory of God and mystery not withstanding, there can be no greater source of joy than that.