The notes of the bell or buzzer travel throughout the school building, spilling onto the grounds and into neighboring yards – the audible signal that the school day is ended, and that it’s time for learners and teachers alike to leave the classroom behind. Life is more than a classroom, and it cannot be contained in school-shaped buildings. It’s time to leave it behind, until the next school day.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a school bell equivalent for the rest of life? A bell rings, and it’s time to leave the unfinished work at the office; a buzzer sounds, and it’s time to stop cleaning the house. For many of us, there’s no bell or buzzer to remind us that life is more than whatever work we are currently doing – that life is more than this one thing, and that it cannot be contained in any work-shaped box.
I like working, and I enjoy accomplishing my goals. I don’t want to shirk my responsibilities or burden others with my tasks. I want to work hard without being a workaholic. But sometimes the line between the two gets blurry, and I could really use a bell to sound when I cross it. I think that’s why I say the same prayer every morning. Two of its lines are: In all things, help me to rely upon thy holy will. In every hour of the day, reveal thy will to me.
If I do my best to rely on God’s will, and humbly ask that it be revealed to me throughout my day, I swear I can hear the school bell ring when it’s time to put down my work – until it is time to pick it up again on another day.
Great God, give me ears to hear your voice as I seek to order my day. My endings and beginnings are yours. Amen.