A Spanner thrown in the Works
The Bible is great. Nothing is censored.
Truth is told in various ways, utilising various literary techniques, aimed at enhancing our experience:
The reader, the listener, must take into account the conditions of time and culture, the literary genres in use, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current.
For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression (CCC 110).
‘A spanner is thrown in the works’ by Ecclesiastes 1.
We have a literary form full of ‘paradoxical power.’ Our preacher – Qoheleth – aims to disrupt.
We are told everything is vanity, including our work whereby we toil away only to die and leave the fruits of our work to someone else. What could be more absurd?
We’ve all had the thought – ‘life is drudgery, what is the use, why bother, what difference am I making’? Surely we’ve had the thought.
But life is not clockwork, because God is not a clockmaker.
No, life is an interplay of divine and human freedom. Life is interesting, an adventure. What seems useless at times is actually full of meaning. Therein lies the paradox.
We are not clocks.
But if we happen to become a ‘clock’ – tick tock tick tock – then welcome the ‘spanner thrown into the works.’
That spanner is just what we need, disrupting the pattern of our silly little thoughts.
With renewed purpose, we let ourselves be inspired by Jesus, the Son of Man. He came among us and worked for 25 years, hidden from view, carrying out the most mundane and menial tasks.
St. John Paul II called it the Fifth Gospel:
Jesus belongs to the ‘working world,’ he has appreciation and respect for human work.
It can be said that Jesus looks with love upon human work and the different forms that it takes, seeing in each one of these forms a particular facet of our likeness with God, the Creator and Father (On Human Labour 1981, 26).
Let’s pick up that ‘spanner’ and put it to good use, working for God in his world.