“He talked on, said how the Reverend Biddle talked of Creation as though it had been a mere seven-day investment, like putting up a bar, a task with a beginning, middle, and a definite end. Not so. “Look out there,” he said in a voice that suddenly demanded attention. “Creation is forever. Not made, boy, but being made, always.” - Albert from The Earth is Enough, by Harry Middleton
Many of us toil in the arena of projects. Projects that have significant beginnings as well as definite endings. They begin in the form little nudges that shake us out of bed in the middle of the night and end in the ever-looming D-Day’s that seem to come sooner than we think.
I’ve been living in the land of the deadline lately and I’m frankly finding it to be terribly anxiety producing. Why anyone would even venture to give a “due date” on a human baby’s expected delivery is crazy-making if you ask me.
I keep thinking if I can just get this or that done before April 29th I’ll be fine. If I can get the crib made this weekend, then I can relax. If we can get this part of the film edited before Friday, then I can breathe. If I can just get things finished before the baby comes then all shall be well.
But like Albert’s Reverend warns us, creation is not a finite activity with such neat and tidy endings, no, it goes on forever.
How might we approach our projects (or our lives for that matter) differently, if we believed that the process of creation went on forever?
I imagine we’d be a little more gracious. Maybe let ourselves off the hook?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t give ourselves deadlines. That would be foolish and dumb. If we have forever to work on something we’d never complete a thing. What I am trying to say, however, is that there might be great joy and relief in knowing that the work of creation (a piece of art, raising a child) actually goes on forever.
If the work is never done I probably don’t need to finish everything now.
May you (and I, in particular) work toward the grace that eternity offers and give yourself a break.
You know you’re working way too hard anyway.