Month 4:18, Week 3:3 (Shleshi/Bukkurim), Year:Day 5936:107 AM|
7 Sabbaths + Omer Count Day #40
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 7 July 2012
The Destroyed Work
When Our Labour Seems Lost
Whenever my computer swallows up and destroys a long piece of work I have written that I consider inspired I first of all get very disheartened and then wonder if I am going to ever be able to recall it. Working as I am with an ancient machine on death-row that crashes over a dozen times a day on a really bad day, I have come to expect such things. But in spite of precautions, my carnivorous byte-snatcher did the unexpected and saved my work after it had deleted it, making recovery impossible.
In such moments of frustration and sadness I think back to the way Jeremiah reproduced a prophetic scroll word-for-word while his scribe Baruch (Jer.36) penned it a second time after the king burned it in a rage. Of course, there is a big difference between a piece of verbally dictated revelation from Yahweh and a mere devotional such as this so I have no such expectations of word-for-word recovery. In the past when this has happened I have either been able to recall the basic theme and write it with a new set of words (usually an improvement on the original) or I have just abandoned the whole project. I can only imagine what those who lose huge projects taking thousands of work hours like Bible translations go through and who must start months if not years of work all over again. It must be overwhelmingly depressing.
I love the story of the missionary to pre-Christian Korea who devoted his life to translating the Bible into Korean. Whilst travelling with his great work on board a small boat, his craft capsized, the missionary drowned, and his translation disgorged into the sea with him. The Bible manuscripts survived, presumably because it had been packed well in case of accident, and washed ahore. The peasants who found it, having no idea what it was, used most of it to start fires and the rest of it to wallpaper some huts. Later, those who were literate, read those sheets of manuscript that had survived on the inner walls of these peasants' huts and so the first converts to the Besorah (Gospel) were made.
Today there are some 14 million Christians in Korea and it all began when a faithful missionary was drowned and some surviving fragments from the Gospels were read as wallpaper decoration on a peasant's hut. Yahweh certainly works in mysterious ways. I suspect that today's devotional, like many others of my lost pieces, will remain lost but I hope that this little anecdote will perhaps encourage someone who has also experienced a painful loss of labour to see the positive side.
There is better yet to come.