Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 57)
Digging Into Work
Where no oxen are, the trough is clean;
But much increase comes by the strength of an ox.
Proverbs 14:4 (NKJV)*
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers His righteousness on you.
Hosea 10:12 (NIV)
I've heard about a pastor who disguised himself to look poor, dirty and homeless. On Sunday, he sat on his church steps as his congregation was arriving. No one invited him inside the church. Mostly, he was ignored, but one or two men tried to get him to move from his spot. After worship, he walked to the pulpit. Whether or not this episode is true, can you imagine the shaming sermon?
Long ago, most people lived off the land. With willing hands, they dug into their work. They sawed, plowed, picked, plucked, carved, cooked, scrubbed and nursed. They hunted, hammered, mended and tended. People lived raw. They got down and dirty. Life was real--both its grime and its glory. They didn't need a gym to get sweaty. Hard-hitting truth was unavoidable.
Today, we tap keys with our fingertips. Our meat is far removed from blood and bones. Our milk is mechanized and pasteurized. Our deepest bends are to plug in our cords. Our hardest work is to look beautiful. Our biggest heroes are built on fiction. Our cleanliness comes from sanitized soap.** Our eyes stare at one-dimensional screens. Avoiding the truth is desirable.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Jesus, the Man, dug into His work. He chose to become a Laborer, because beauty is found in the dirt. From the lowest, meanest positions, trees of righteousness grow up to God. To the poorest, neediest people, God sent His Son and today sends you. In Hollywood, don't avoid the dirt. Turn it, seed it and watch new life grow.
To Be Continued...
* Barnes Notes on the Bible, regarding Proverbs 14:4: 'Labor has its rough, unpleasant side, yet it ends in profit. So also, the life of contemplation may seem purer, 'cleaner,' than that of action. The outer business of the world brings its cares and disturbances, but also 'much increase.' There will be a sure reward of that activity in good works for him who goes, as with 'the strength of the ox,' to the task to which God calls him:' http://biblehub.com/commentaries/proverbs/14-4.htm
** NY Times article: Invite Some Germs For Dinner: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/sunday-review/invite-some-germs-to-dinner.html?_r=0
** The Farm Effect: How Dirt Makes You Happy and Healthy: http://www.drnorthrup.com/dirt-strenthens-immune-system-happier-healthier/#sthash.Rv7D7WQ9.dpuf
** Why Walking Barefoot Might Be an Essential Element of Good Health: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/20/barefoot-on-electron-deficiency.aspx
** Excellent article on advertising: How Clean Was Sold To America: http://gizmodo.com/how-clean-was-sold-to-america-1685320177
** Short Article: The Unintended (and Deadly) Consequences of Living in the Industrialized World: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-unintended-and-deadly-consequences-of-living-in-the-industrialized-world-5324305/#QEsyzxXO0oZOCEhT.99
** Short Article: What Can Happen When You're Way Too Clean: http://time.com/4310281/gut-bacteria-diabetes/?iid=sr-link2
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.