For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. So Newton says.
That’s not to say that whatever you do, they’ll do it back to you; or whatever you give, they’ll give it back to you. No, good doesn’t necessarily beget good, it does good in the do-er.
Some call it grace; some call it karma. I call it Newton’s 3rd Law. Whatever I do, it applies an equal and opposite force to me. My body’s doings obey the laws of motion, uniquely!
My doing changes me back.
My thinking causes me to think again.
My helping them, helps me.
My ironing for him, smooths me.
My cleaning for her, cleanses me.
My praying, for him, for her, for them,
how to pray, what to say,
what to silence,
when to go, when to stay.
Equal and opposite.
Whenever I give, I get back,
Equal and opposite.
It’s a law of nature.
For my every action, there’s a reaction,
The snow is melting taking the evidence of all my hard work with it. Soon, the path I shoveled so Silver could get to the fence will be gone. The piles around the drive that I heaved so my husband could get to work and my daughter could get to school – gone. The swath I cut so my mailman could get to the box and the UPS delivery guy could get to the porch – gone. Even the sharp corner of snow on the street, piled high by the plows, that I removed to help turners come ’round the bend will soon be gone. All gone.
Nothing left. Vanished. But for the smile of the post man, the quicker step from Mr. UPS, the sigh of relief from daughter, the on time arrival of husband, and the paws that continue to find their way. Traffic will give it no further thought.
It was nothing, really. And now it is.
“Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ~ (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
We used to call it ham and egging. When playing as partners, one plays well while the other falls off the pace, then you switch. It’s not a planned strategy; it just happens this way when it happens well. It allows the team to thrive and neither partner to become completely exhausted or over-burdened.
I am wondering about this today, post-Easter Day 1. I am fired up about the message I heard and the enthusiasm I experienced and the music and the lilies and, well, all of Easter. So I am full of energy for the “what’s next” that God has in store. I want to email, call, Facebook message our church staff to dive right in and wouldn’t you know? they’re all taking the day off. The nerve! 🙂
Of course they are. They have been working for weeks, perhaps months, to build up to the Holy Week we just celebrated. They’re exhausted from the effort. It’s time for me (us?) to carry the team for a bit. But I must admit, I am sorry it works this way. I really wish it could be all team, all the time, rather than ham and egg.
But is it? Ever? Should it be? I mean, what a waste — to have both partners birdie the same hole! Why not take turns?
So I suppose now it’s my turn. And the reality is, every Monday it’s my turn. Post Easter or not. I am grateful to return and drink from the well each Sabbath Day, but on Monday I launch out on my own. Well, we’re told we’re never alone, but you know what I mean. I need to carry our team into the game of life. I am grateful to be well supplied.
So, what do I take into Monday? Ironically, it’s a sense to continue the “GOOD deed-doing” I have been doing. That was my Lenten pledge, so simple: one thing done each day out of the goodness of my heart. No reward. No recognition. No strings attached.
Oh, I fell away from this a bit during Lent. Forgot to set out to do one. I would get to the end of the day and make my apologies to the Man in Charge and He would point to things. And say, what about this one? This word. This act. This expression. This interaction. It was a kindness for which you received no reward. It counts.
For a God who keeps no record of wrongs I found myself grateful He was watching for the “rights.” And I guess the fact that they escaped my attention has me thinking there may be some hope for me yet, to get better at this good-doing. This leading with the heart. It’s a purifying of sorts. An obedience. A just do it because God says so. And that makes it loving.
On my run yesterday I wondered at the notion of “being released” from my Lenten pledge. Finally, I don’t have to do a good EVERY day, I thought! And just then I was inclined toward a small act. Something no one will notice. And I realized it needn’t be a large thing. Just something small done to God’s specifications. Daily.
This good-doing is habit-forming.
We’re a good team, God and I. Who is ham and who is egg? I imagine He is both. I guess I am meant to be the salt. And some days the pepper. Whatever makes breakfast palatable to anyone who might come to the table. And THAT is the work of the Monday through Friday.