It’s a common phrase to hear someone say, “I am working myself to death”. There was a time that in the United States, and still in other places around the world, that the phrase could be more of a statement of fact versus just a phrase to exaggerate how hard one is working in their job. Today, there are still people who work too much and too hard to the point of physical distress and danger, but for the most part we don’t put our lives at risk or die because of our physical or mental exertion at work. Before I go further, I do give great admiration to those who go beyond work to serve us and our country for security, protection, rescue and war and in this time particular those who have been on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis as healthcare workers, grocery and food workers and delivery people. They do in fact put their lives on the line each day and to them we should each be extraordinarily grateful.
Considered in totality, for most of us to make the statement that we are being “worked to death”, is vastly overstated. It is a mindset and an attitude that can come across as very self-centered and overly emotionally based. It can also drag other people down around us. When we feel this way and before we express this emotion we should stop and remember that no matter how bad we have it that there was One who went before us who really did work Himself to His death. He knew that this was His purpose and He did it for us. Before Easter, let’s read together Phil Keaggy’s lyrics from the song “Maker of the Universe” and reflect on the commitment and love that was given for us. Think about what it truly means for one who was so precious to have truly worked Himself to death.
“The Maker of the universe,
As Man for man was made a curse.
The claims of Law which He had made,
Unto the uttermost He paid.
His holy fingers made the bough,
Which grew the thorns that crowned His brow.
The nails that pierced His hands were mined
In secret places He designed.
He made the forest whence there sprung
The tree on which His body hung.
He died upon a cross of wood,
Yet made the hill on which it stood.
The sky that darkened o’er His head,
By Him above the earth was spread.
The sun that hid from Him it’s face
By His decree was poised in space.
The spear which spilled His precious blood
Was tempered in the fires of God.
The grave in which His form was laid
Was hewn in rocks His hands had made.
The throne on which He now appears
Was His for everlasting years.
But a new glory crowns His brow
And every knee to Him shall bow.”
May we each take time today on this Good Friday to remember and reflect on Jesus and then have a blessed celebration on Easter for the One who died and then rose!