Rotting Food is Okay
Reading from John 6:27: “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you…
Yesterday as with most weeks, we picked up our produce box, and upon bringing it home, we began putting the fresh produce away into the fridge. As usual, there were one or two old, limpy-looking goods from the previous week we had to take out of the fridge to throw away. I always get frustrated when this happens – I watch as money we’ve worked hard to earn gets put in the trash as merely rotting food. What a waste, what futility! What is the point of such hard work and toil!? This passage above says that there is a food that perishes, and an eternal food. How do I work for this better, eternal food? How will the Son of Man give it to me?
“What must we do, to be doing the works of God? Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
It is WORK to believe. To believe is to WORK. How profound – I take this to mean that we are fighting and striving…not to reach salvation, not to win over converts and have the best apologetic argument…but to simply believe. It is a struggle, like all work it can wear you out. But this is the paradigm-altering, mind-bending, heart-wrenching work of belief. The belief that there is a God. That this God is conscious and aware of the plight of a tiny blue planet. That this God is benevolent and infinitely interested in the welfare of the human race. That this God attempts for thousands of years to regain an intimacy first intended and experienced between Creator and created, to only meet resistance and failure at every step. Finally, this is the work of believing that this God sends his very self into the finite man, Jesus Christ, offering a pathway back to intimacy.
This has ramifications for my day job by the way. It changes how I work out my beliefs in the marketplace. My work for eternal food affects my work for temporal food. Now I’m not so bothered by food when it perishes, I’m not undone when I see markets tumble or housing prices collapse. My life’s worth is no longer wrapped up in my job, and if I lose my job, I am not without identity and intimacy…I am not without belief.
Work to believe. Work to trust. Seek first the Kingdom and his Righteousness, and all these things will be added to you!