Last night, I was working late but didn't mind doing so since my wife and son were able to be with me. I was working on some final details for an experience our entire church will be going through together over the next five weeks, which I have been working on and looking forward to for the majority of the past year. What I needed to accomplish last night was to get curriculum and materials into rooms so that the groups that are studying the material will be ready to go on Sunday morning. I had a dolly (or hand truck? I'm never sure which is correct) loaded up with about 150 packets of materials and books to distribute to different classrooms, and my two year old son was following me around as a helper. He always likes it when he sees that I have the dolly out for something. He walked with me to the closet to find it, and as soon as I had it, he said, "Ride on that." So he enjoyed getting carted around for a while.
After we loaded the materials onto the dolly, I loved it that he continued walking around the church building with me, carrying my pen and pad of paper, and with some guidance was even able to stand in front of some doors to keep them open for me when I wheeled the dolly in. I really dislike working many evenings if it means not getting to see him, but we were having fun together accomplishing our task last night.
The dolly was pretty heavy with all of those materials stacked on it, and at one point he said, "push that" and reached out his hand to take over for me. (I suppose I'm so out of shape these days that my toddler thought he'd better give me a break.) I told him thanks, but that it was very heavy. I told him, "But you can help Daddy push it if you want," and I showed him where he could put his hand on the dolly's side bar. He put it there, and we kept walking to the next classroom while he carried my pen and paper in one hand and helped me push the heavy load with his other hand.
What he was doing was not insignificant in either of our minds. To him, he was helping his daddy push the heavy stuff. To me, I loved it that he wanted to be with me and be part of what I was doing rather than doing anything else.
Whenever I have the chance to pray with coworkers in ministry, I usually say something along the lines of thanking God for giving us the opportunity to be part of his work. I genuinely mean that when I say it. As frustrating as ministry can be at times, it is a privilege to be part of helping see God's kingdom come and his will be done in us and in our world. I realized two things about this as my son and I pushed that dolly last night: 1) I think God genuinely enjoys having us play a part in the process of his work in the world, and 2) in whatever kind of work we're doing, we aren't as strong as we think we are. God carries the load; we just follow alongside him with our hand on the dolly.
Even though God carries the load, it still requires some choices on our part. We have to choose to be with him rather than the myriad of other things that are constantly throwing tantrums to get our attention. Then, being with him in our work, our work can become much more his load than ours- whether we're a pastor, farmer, grocery checker, school principal, pharmacist, or nearly any other kind of work. God can accomplish good through the vast majority of professions that we have. It's just up to us to put our hand on the dolly and offer to help.
(For any of you who are fans of Rich Mullins, like I am, yes, his song of the same title came to mind and helped me realize this last night- although he was looking at our weakness and God's strength from a different angle in the song.)
P.S.: I laughed when I noticed (at the time of proofreading this) that the two Google ads at the right were for companies selling hand trucks and dollies.ind it, and as soon as I had it, he said, "Ride on that." So he enjoyed getting carted around for a while.