The Slow Work

It’s late afternoon/early evening. I’m never sure what time of day this is during the late spring/summer when it’s 6 p.m. and the sun won’t dip it’s head behind the horizon for another hour or so. I’m sitting on my back porch listening to the wind chimes and birds. Our sweet four-legged Maddy girl is on patrol around the porch and patio sniffing out any lizards that might attack us.

I’m looking out over my flower and vegetable garden. I started seeds indoors on heat mats and under lights earlier this spring. I planted them in the garden a few weeks ago. Learning how to grow seeds into seedlings and then when they can be transplanted, how to keep critters away, journaling everything I’m learning so I don’t forget what works and what to do differently next time, takes being intentional. I’ve learned to be okay with it if it doesn’t work. I’ll try again and get better each time. I can only do so much and then it’s out of my control. I have to learn to trust in the slow work of nature.

Starting my own sourdough starter and learning to make sourdough bread has been trial and error. It’s a slow process from feeding the starter to learning the process of making the bread. It takes time to learn how it should feel and look and when it needs more time, but not too much time. I know it will be a lifelong practice and learning. It’s observing nature and working with it instead of against it. It’s slow work.

I was watching The Craftsman on The Magnolia Network recently. He uses century old tools made before there was electricity and electric tools to carve and craft the wood for restorations of Victorian homes and furniture and other things. It’s slow work.

Learning about ourselves, being brutally honest about our core fears and weaknesses, takes time. We couldn’t handle all that God wants to reveal to us about ourselves in one pass. It would overwhelm us allowing guilt and shame to take up residence. Learning how we were created, what we fear, and what we long for takes work. Slow work.

When God created the earth and all that is in it, He paused after each of the six days and said it was good. Then He rested on the Sabbath because it was enough.

Allowing the slow work to happen means trusting. Trusting that God has given us enough. Trusting that God is who He says He is. Trusting that we are enough in Him. It’s surrendering our autonomy and our need to control and hurry to accomplish something.

I’ve come to believe all the best things and worthwhile things are slow work.

There is beauty and joy in the slow work.

We shouldn’t despise the slow work. We should welcome and cultivate it, because when we do the slow work will lead us to something holy.

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