I secretly love crisp mornings. As much as I complain when I have to scrape off my windshield at 6am, if I stop and inhale, I love it. Days never feel so new as they do in the winter and fall. When I think of God’s mercies being new every morning, I always think of crisp, cool mornings– I don’t know why, but they feel like an invitation to me. This morning, I have a cup of tea and slippers, and I’m wrapped in a blanket. I’ve cracked the sliding door in the living room, the morning’s invitation whispers to me, and I can feel my daughter tumbling around in her warm cocoon. I love new beginnings.
The last year has afforded me many opportunities to enjoy moments like this. This morning, as I made breakfast, I realized that the last time I had this much free time, I was spending a week recovering from a car accident. I thought a little more about that car accident. I remember making sure that my parents told all their friends that it wasn’t my fault. I was so concerned that I not appear irresponsible.
I’ve worked so hard to be responsible my whole life, and it’s a lot easier for me to feel responsible when I’m busy. When I have a million “significant” things occupying my time. When I’m hardly home. When I eat all my meals in the car between one commitment and another. By the way I’ve lived my life, I’ve equated responsibility with business and trusting with laziness.
I desperately don’t want people to think that I’m irresponsible. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE working part-time and being home part-time, and there is plenty to keep me busy around here. I love being able to keep the house tidy, cook good meals, bake, and give my time to people. But I feel guilty about it. If I just had another job, I think, then I wouldn’t have to worry about money. And the Lord gently reminds me each time that I don’t need to.
I love the passage in John 6 where the Disciples ask Jesus what they are supposed to be doing to be “doing the works of God.” Jesus gives them a beautifully simple answer, and they don’t want to take it. It seems too easy.
“Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.'”
They keep asking about things they can do. Trusting seems lazy to them, too. But there’s a reason Jesus calls it work. The trusting I’ve associated with laziness isn’t really trusting. It’s hoping that things will work out if I sit around, or (maybe worse) saying that I’m trusting God while doing everything in my power to ensure things come out the way I want them to.
I think it’s safe to say that I desperately wish, probably with the disciples, that Jesus answered their question with a checklist. But he doesn’t. Because what God calls us to isn’t a specific job, it’s not to filling time with “significant” tasks, it’s not to a specific amount of work every week, a specific level of church involvement, or to bringing home a paycheck. It’s to believing in Jesus, to loving the Gospel, and to trusting that He will provide and continue to be faithful. Hearts that believe in Jesus remember that his mercies are new with every crisp morning and are sufficient for whatever the coming day, week, or month holds.