Most Powerful Prayers # 11 – Praying for Honest Work

Psalm 90:17  And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. KJV

The author writes… MY son Curt made an interesting comment recently.

“I’m afraid that we are becoming a race of ‘virtual’ men and women,” he said, “doing no real physical labor, just  sitting in front of our computer screens, tapping keys, sending our putty-soft bodies out on virtual expeditions.”

Iknew what he meant and that it was true. Last night after working into the late hours on this book, I lay in bed and could not rest. Something was wrong. What was it?

This morning when we were sitting on the porch at our river house, Spike read to me from Wendell Berry’s book of short stories, Fidelity. In “A Jonquil for Mary Penn” were beautiful descriptions of work—real physical work.

I love this one about Elton Penn’s plans:   This morning, delaying his own plowing, he was going to help Walter Cotman plow his corn ground. [Mary] could feel the knowledge of what he had to do tightening in him like a spring. She thought of him and Walter plowing, starting in the early light, and the two teams leaning into the collars all day, while the men walked in the opening furrows, and the steady wind shivered the dry grass, shook the dead weeds, and rattled the treetops in the woods.

As I listened to Wendell Berry’s simple, musical descriptions I was moved by the beauty of the words. I almost felt a desire to pull on a pair of overalls and head out to walk the opening furrows of the fields with Elton and Walter.

But this is another day and I have another kind of work to do. Still, I can do it with the same simplicity and diligence and I can find joy in it, because the Lord is in it with me.

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