May 9, 2012

Street Sweeping

Matt Gray's recent blog post, "Here Lived a Great Street Sweeper", offers some important thoughts for those considering vocation. I especially appreciate the quote from Martin Luther King Jr.:

And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures… like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.

I personally do not feel called to sweep streets all my life, at least not literal streets; though doing so even temporarily welcomes a few worhty lessons. Rather, I wish to churn the dust of the ways of our culture, to remind what lies underneath the layers; and even below that—beneath the pavement that thought to quell Nature's advance; or to forget it, even replace it, with civilized institutions—recall what is true: that we are not in ultimate control. To recall that there is “being” beyond the self. To also remember that dust need not be associated with damage or collapse; that it was once associated with life: Adam. Hope. To remember that “in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King).

Soli deo gloria.

I was fortunate to work for Cleansweep Services Inc. for 2 months

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