Jetta and I were folding towels a few days ago; and she is my designated wash cloth folder. After folding nearly all of her share she decided to just lie down. I told her there were only two more left and for her to get up and finish them, then take a break. Her response? “I just need to rest for a little while.”

How often have I done that to my mother, pastor/leader (ouch!), husband, children, and worst of all, God. Maybe not that often, but often enough to be convicted. Proverbs 31:13 identifies an important quality of a virtuous woman: she works willingly with her hands. When she’s working, she is doing it willingly, readily, gladly, and is inclined to her work. Proverbs 31:18 says that her candle doesn’t go out by night. This doesn’t mean the woman never sleeps (could any mortal be virtuous after never sleeping?) but it means that she is ready, willing, and inclined to work or do when needed/required (sick kid/family, unctioned to pray/read, etc). This working willingly thing is hard for me; I like working, I like being busy, I like doing things… when I want to. But that is not what willingly means. It means I do it as I am doing my work unto the Lord; whether it’s feeding an infant or a homeless man, cleaning diapers or a customer’s bank account, vaccuuming a cathedral or cleaning a toilet… willingly, without griping/grumbling. The work that our hands have been called to do is to be done willingly, readily, and completely. Don’t lay down before the work is completed; don’t faint when you are still at the start line. Let’s be brave enough to be called virtuous, excelling over those who only do virtuously yet lack the actual quality of being virtuous.

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