Counting                                             July 2020

In my dream I was at work. I wasn’t assigned to counting boxed dolls, nor to counting cases of boxes which had 24 boxed dolls each.   My task was counting master cases which had 12 cases each and all-in-all included 288 dolls . That was a position of authority with the requisite better pay.

The bricklayer, the breakfast cook, the barber, and the paramedic have this counting in common. The 485,264th brick, the hundredth egg today, the 100,000th slice of the scissors, and the 4,000th resuscitation all must be counted. How much can one person stand of this pure, raw, mind-crushing boredom? What keeps them going?

The worker gets pushed to one pole or the other, laying the next brick more perfectly than the last or purposely doing it worse to see what imperfection looks like. Worst of all is one who is stuck in the middle not caring one way or the other.   We weren’t designed to do this. We were designed for the Garden. God did not make us to walk the nineteenth mile this week using our physical weight to drive the mule-pulled plow into the stony ground.

Were we created to pull the soiled sheets off the 50,000th hospital bed? What got us into all this? It was the boredom of goodness and the dissatisfaction of perfection.  Every day that Adam walked through the garden of Eden he was surrounded by the same uncomplainable delights. Yet, there was that one prohibited tree calling him to mix it up; to make something change and create a little chaos. The forbidden fruit with its knowledge of evil was a visible, daily outcry for a new exciting experience. The Enemy laughed as his plans came together.

The Devil’s vocabulary included terms of ingratitude.  My ball and chain, the grind, repetition, hard work, and assembly line all symbolized drudgery.   His lexicon expanded with slog, chore, mean boss, and feeling like a slave to “the man.”   His words, not God’s; his tabloid of classifying goodness and purpose as somehow falling short. He vilified our daily efforts to make the tortilla and raise the fourth child, to repair the eighth Ford motor in two days, and to disrespect our 100th conversational prayer with God this week.

It was not the fault of the brick, or the child, or the scissors. It has always been us. It has always been the desire for more, or different, or excitement.

We were designed to be pure and satisfied. God did not make us ungrateful. That came from the Fallen One who was the original ingrate.  HE is the one we reject when we are satisfied with what God has given us in love.

I will not be rich, but I will have enough. I will not be famous, but I will be known to my friends. I will not be handsome, but my eyes will see what God has given me. I will be satisfied this day. I will count it all a joy because it is from God who loves each of us.

You can find over two hundred of Bob’s previous articles at

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