Today, our friends sent a picture of themselves relaxing on a boat in the Mediterranean. Their feet propped on a railing, resting in the sun while gazing at the azure blue sea. It is a fantastic picture, and once I saw it, I texted back, “It is all lovely, but what does “relaxation” mean?”
I was born without the ability to unwind. Today, my friends and family shake their heads in dismay, and when my mother was still here, she often exclaimed, “Sit down and be quiet!” Something within my soul searches for things to do even when they don’t need doing.
Honestly, if it weren’t for a few shows I enjoy and the nightly news on television, I probably would never use a sofa. However, it is not all my fault since I have discerned it is perhaps an inherited trait.
Dad would watch a western on tv and eat ice cream to relax, but that’s all. He couldn’t sit still during the day if you paid him to do so. He was always trying to fix something or someone. My grandmother, aka Grandpa, believed idle hands were the devil’s workshop. She could accomplish more in a day than most of us can in a year.
Less idle hands
Even though I sincerely know I should learn to relax, I doubt it will ever happen because there is so much to do! I certainly don’t want to entertain the devil with idle hands. I get a little nutty with folks who waste hours doing nothing when one can do something to create delight.
Perhaps, rampant crime in the world could be lessened by fewer idle hands. Work that could be done to aid others instead of harming folks. Replacing guns with pens, paintbrushes, pots, pans, and plans could bring peace. Of course, one must desire to work, but isn’t it better than jail or death?
Many fall through the cracks in life because they give up on hope. Working to improve one’s life returns dreams and aspirations. And when we are busy concentrating on something other than personal circumstances, we ease depression. Isn’t hope for a happier life better than giving up on it?
Retired folks who wish they could fill their days with usefulness should find something useful to do other than grumble. Ease those ailments with a determination to make a difference for struggling others. Talk is cheap, but action is priceless. If we become active movers of kindness instead of bemoaning the country’s condition, we might just heal our condition. Of course, one must desire to be happier, but aren’t helpful hands better than useless, old ones?
Working for God
Whenever I see a beautiful garden, I appreciate those who toiled in the dirt to provide food for others or splendor for us to enjoy. My grandmother’s hands were always covered with flour or dirt as she walked through her day in an old house dress protected by her apron. I will never forget the aroma of her pies in the oven or her delicious green beans from her garden. Grandpa toiled for us and many others because she believed God’s words, “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise up and call her blessed.” Proverbs 31: 27-28
I believe that God intends for us always to use our hands for His work. We show love when we take the time to create something special from our hearts. There is magic in giving from our soul that money cannot buy. When making donations to our places of worship or favorite charity, many of us feel that is enough. And Lord knows, generosity is sorely needed and wonderful. However, could each of us do a bit more?
We should ask ourselves, “What can I do today to make a difference in my world?” How can I use my hands to build peace, create happiness, or provide care for another? Our world will be immeasurably blessed when we answer these questions with actions.
We are concerned today with casting our votes for those who will lead us. Those who will put money back into our bank accounts, stop crime, and keep our democracy safe. I doubt anyone can until we use our hands to deliver hope for others, allow God to lead us, and ultimately be the one who saves us.
So, relax, enjoy a vacation, retire, and prop your feet up. But only for a while because there is still much work to do until our days are done, and God hands us a hammock.