In a few weeks, the rakes we own will make their first appearance of spring in our yard. It will not be too long before the mulch will be delivered. Here we go again.
Sometime soon, I have to rake off all the winter mulch, rake up all the leaves that have ended up in my yard over the winter, turn over the dirt in all the flower beds, and reset some of the bricks in the patio and the walkways that have been dislodged by the winter rains. I have to prune the rose and trim the hedges and cut back the monkey grass, fix the gate in the back fence, reset the hinges and the lock on the front gate, power-wash the porch, and figure out a way to attach a rosebush to the house, the one that is so big now it keeps falling over and blocking the front gate.
None of which I can actually do in a weekend. So I have some yard work to do, every day, for weeks to come. And the truth is the yard is not going to look like much for some weeks to come yet.
There is a moment out there, somewhere, though, a single afternoon or evening, when I will come around the corner, and the roses will have begun to bloom or the light will fall just right on the fountain, or I will see the cardinals playing tag in the hedges, and it will take my breath away.
The next day, of course, I will have to week the flower beds or mow the little bit of lawn that I have not yet managed to eliminate. I think it is worth every moment of work for those six or eight or twelve moments of pleasure, whenever they come and whatever they turn out to be like when they take my breath away.
One of the reasons it’s hard for us to say the daily office (prayer, Bible reading, quiet time, etc) is that on most days, prayer is more like weeding a flower bed for the third time this month than it is some divine and mystical experience. The truth is that for most of the time – the office (quiet time) has a kind of mundane, everyday sort of feeling. The daily office is not called daily for nothing, you know.
There is a temptation for all us to feel as though worship is not really worth much unless we are personally moved by it. Let us remember that liturgy is the work of the people, not the magic wand of God.
This excerpt taken from the book Constant Prayer, pages 56-58.