Thank God It’s Friday

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To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here.

Author and pastor John Ortberg has playfully imagined how the book of Genesis might read if God approached work the way we so often do:
In the beginning, it was nine o’clock, so God had to go to work. 
He filled out a requisition to separate light from darkness.  He considered making stars to beautify the night, and planets to fill the skies, but thought it sounded like too much work.
“And besides,” God thought, “that’s not my job.”  So he decided to knock off early and call it a day.  And he looked at what he had done and he said, “It’ll have to do.”
On the second day God separated the waters from the dry land.  And he made all the dry land flat, plain, and functional, so that – behold – the whole earth looked like Iowa. 
He thought about making mountains and valleys and glaciers and jungles and forests, but he decided it wouldn’t be worth the effort.  And God looked at what he had done that day and said, “It’ll have to do.”
And God made a pigeon to fly in the air, and a carp to swim in the waters, and a cat to creep upon the dry ground.  And God thought about making millions of other species of all sizes and shapes and colors, but he couldn’t drum up any enthusiasm for any other animals – in fact, he wasn’t too crazy about the cat.  Besides, it was almost time for the Late Show.  So God looked at all he had done, and God said, “It’ll have to do.”
And at the end of the week, God was seriously burned out.  So he breathed a big sigh of relief and said, “Thank Me, it’s Friday.”
Genesis, of course, feels utterly different. 
In the first chapter of the first book of the Bible we are introduced to a God who loves work.  And human beings, who are made in God’s image, are hardwired to love work as well.
It’s notable that Jesus of Nazareth spent most of his years as a blue-collar worker.  He was in the building profession.  The word that we usually translate as “carpenter” comes from the Greek word tekton – from which we get our word “technology” – and implies acquaintance with stone and masonry work as well.
Most of us spend half our waking lives at work.  Research shows that the best moments of our lives don’t come from relaxation, or entertainment, or romance, or dream vacations, or chocolate (although I hesitated while typing the word “chocolate”).  
As Ortberg puts it, the best moments of our lives come “when we are totally immersed in a significant task that is challenging, yet matches up well to our highest abilities.”
God created the cosmos with deep joy.  We are called to work as well – and to offer to him our best efforts as a kind of daily renewable gift.
Thank God it’s Friday.
And that before we know it, it will be time once again to immerse ourselves in the tasks to which he has called us.