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The Pleasure of Working

You know what? Some days your bread doesn't rise. And you try and bake it anyway with the hope that the baking cycle will do miracles to help dough puff up and shape into a beautiful loaf with a brown dome crust. But it doesn't. After the attempt to bake the bread, it remains a lousy looking, unbaked clump of disappointment. As it sits helplessly on the counter, guessing if you are going to throw it in the trash or feed it to the birds, you wonder what didn't work. Was the water too hot and killed the yeast? Was there too much of a draft coming into the room where it was rising? This bread-making thing is an art, hands down. Do some people have magical palms that knead out perfect loaf after perfect loaf like green-thumbed fairy garden planters?

Doesn't the yearning for positive results exist in all things? A joyful experience. A great day. A loving relationship. An easy situation. A productive week. A beautiful life. A successful career. You name the scenario. But what is success? Is it all in the image of what something should look like because of magazine covers that are flawless, pretty walls that don't reveal their veins, and pictures that somehow escape from the reality of real connection?

I'm just wondering today because bread dough doesn't always rise, and loaves don't always turn out into mouth-watering softness with an incredible crust.

But what if joy seeps into the practice of trying and the experience of the doing? Into the fulfillment of learning to be patient and try again tomorrow?

Yes. What if success measured to be fully in the pleasure of working? Even when the dough doesn't rise?

Dear Friend,

Guide me to connect with the pleasure of working and the practice of all things with love and patience. Guide me to experience the joy of the process than focusing on the result.



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