Those who do a job well will be rewarded. The reward though should not be the sole focus for the job. And sometimes the satisfaction is the true reward.
First of all, I was trying to juggle ten things at once yesterday while writing my blog. Forgive the mistake I made in the order of things. The thought is right but the place where I was intending to work is wrong. And to think, I was thanking God for keeping me on track in the midst of chaos. We (He and I) are both chuckling this morning.
Today’s verse should have been the focus for yesterday and the verse I focused on yesterday was not a stand-alone verse. So, we are backing up today and then rewinding and moving on tomorrow. Thanks for your patience and understanding. His too!
A job done well brings a good reward. Or so it is supposed to. Here are a couple more sayings that you might also know. No good deed goes unpunished. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. All these are speaking of a good beginning but not all of them turn out how one expected. Even Jesus ran into the ‘not quite what was expected’ scenario. “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household” (Mark 6:4).
And then there is the “by any means necessary” crowd. This ‘crowd’ is focused solely on the end result and cares nothing for how they arrived at their destination. This path cares nothing about the destruction left in its wake. This is NOT the heart attitude God wants from His children.
To the Lord, the path taken is of more importance than OUR understanding of the final outcome. And He can redeem ANY outcome we arrive at. Let’s look at two examples of this principle. The first is the life of Jesus Himself. The second is the “Cracked Pot” story.
In Jesus’ life He was walking EXACTLY as God intended Him to. “Of course”, you say, after all He is the Son of God and God Himself. Yes, I would answer; but He didn’t have to. He CHOSE daily and even hourly to walk that path. We KNOW the end result He accomplished from our perspective in history. But those who walked the streets with Him didn’t know the ‘real ending’ for a few more days. Their eyes were fixed on earthly events. They were probably in the “No good deed goes unpunished” camp at that time. Actually, they were more dumbfounded than anything else. WHAT JUST HAPPENED! HOW? BUT…! God wasn’t done with the story and we know the reason now. Yet, EVERY STEP of Jesus’ journey mattered. He couldn’t have accomplished the work He did “by any means necessary.” The process was crucial to the final product. Means mattered.
The “cracked pot” story is another ‘means matter’ story. For those of you not familiar with this story, here is a link to one version of it. In this story, the cracked pot did ALL it could to fulfill its purpose. The purpose it was chosen for, or so it thought. Try as it might, it failed every day. It didn’t give up and refuse to go but it began to wonder WHY it was even picked. It could have been singing, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” tune.
Finally, after ‘failing’ for two years it got the courage, or the desperation, to ask “why” it was chosen for a task that was impossible for it to complete. It was at this moment that its TRUE purpose was revealed. Without its daily ‘failures’, the end result would not have been possible. Its brokenness, and perseverance even in the face of that brokenness, is what brought life. The journey mattered, even though that journey was discouraging. And without it, the end result wouldn’t have been possible.
God, through Solomon, spoke FACT. A job done well WILL be rewarded. We may not understand the reward, or even receive it this side of Heaven. But God uses our journey through this world to touch lives around us. OUR PATH AND PROCESS MATTERS.
“But I have made mistakes”, you say. YES. You have. And you will most certainly make more. Me too! Yet, God can use those mistakes and turn them into something beautiful and useful. He LOVES ALL His ‘Cracked Pots’. And, when the time is right, He will show you what you leaked out to water along your journey. Me too!!!
Father God, the thing I want MOST is to hear You say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” I hold no illusions about my journey to that moment. I MAKE MESSES. I’ll more than likely make more. But as long as You walk beside me, the journey is just as special as the destination.
Help me live each moment of this journey in a way that is pleasing to You and brings You honor. Help me to remember to look around while on our path and see the things that You are doing now too. Let me see how my ‘mud pies’ make You smile. How my footprints in the fresh cement are be a testament of my progress and belonging. THANK YOU for engraving Your name on my heart. Stronger than ANY permanent ink!