This has been a hard year for humanity. Creatives are no exception. For me it has, at times, been a hard trudge, and mostly uphill. COVID-19 means hyper-vigilance, anxiety, screen fatigue, loneliness, apathy, depression. Are my feeble words worth writing? Does anyone care?
It helps to remember that there is a Bigger Story.
In 1 Chronicles 21, Israel was in the midst of a pandemic, much like the one we are currently experiencing. King David’s unauthorized census resulted in a plague that swept through the land, and as the Angel of the Lord brandished his sword, thousands fell, in the course of only three days. Then, suddenly, the angel stopped - David saw him stop – and hovered over the city of Jerusalem. The prophet Gad rushed into the palace and told the king that the Angel was stopping at the threshing floor of a Jebusite named Araunah (also called Ornan).
There on the farm, another drama was unfolding. Araunah and his four sons were threshing. When the Angel appeared, the boys fled in terror and hid themselves. But for whatever reason, Araunah, who could not fail to see Death poised above his head, kept threshing. Why? Was it pragmatism? (“There’s still work to be done, mouths to feed.”) Optimism? (“Nah, it won’t kill me.”) Or… simple, steadfast resolve?
“I see you there. Death will come, sooner or later. But until then, I will not waver, I will keep my eyes on the task before me, and I will keep on threshing.” And the sword was sheathed.
David arrived to offer a sacrifice, and then bought the farm so that his son Solomon could later build upon it. The threshing floor of Araunah became the foundation of the Temple. It’s still there, somewhere. Grains of barley, a scythe – perhaps these are still buried somewhere beneath the Temple Mount today. And Araunah? His story has survived to honor him, for thousands of years.
Keep threshing. Your labour is part of the foundation upon which God builds his Living Temple.