Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 30

Friday, October 30, 2020

Walt Prausnitz

Dr. Prausnitz

Inspiration for thousands

to work hard, write well and rest, too!

Exodus 34:21

For six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even in ploughing time and in harvest time you shall rest.

1 Timothy 4:16

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Words of Grace For Today

The earth was made in six days and finished on the seventh.
According to the contract it should have been the eleventh.
But the painters wouldn’t paint and the workers wouldn’t work,
The quickest thing to do was to fill it up with dirt.

Creation according to the Old Norske Sunday School.

The dirt refers to humans, but that is the upper level of the Sunday School curriculum.

Even so God gave us the model, picked up by the priests (or was it made up by the priests?) that we need to work like mad on six days so that we can rest on the seventh.

Like all religious rules there is a bit, and here quite a bit, of wisdom in this rule.

Working flat out to survive … robs one of the life one tries who hard to sustain.

We humans were made to work like the dickens, and God made us so that after working flat out, we need to rest.

It’s not just a muscle thing. It’s everything about our biology, physiology and psychology … and spirit.

If we do not rest, we work ourselves, literally to death.

Dr. Prausnitz will live on as the example that is clearest for me, in the negative. He taught English, had an office in the library next to Dr. Christenson’s, the philosophy department head. I worked nights in the library as a supervisor, and had an invitation from both professors to use their offices at night if I wished to study late. Occasionally I did, but rarely in Prausnitz’s office. Prausnitz worked through every second night, working, writing and teaching at least 36 hours straight and sleeping every other night. Shortly after I graduated he had a massive fatal heart attack ‘out of the blue’.

That’s what working too hard will do to you! One must rest. Got it? Got it!

Just so, the human needs to have care. Love is as essential to life as water and food, and self-care is a huge ingredient of that required love.

So even at planting time and in harvest, the 7th day is for rest.

Except Walt actually never had a fatal heart attack. He lived and worked for many more years, contributing to the learning of so many students, far beyond Concordia College.

I’ve been known to take great care for ‘rest’ on the 7th day.

Most often that is at least some kind of alternate to normal life and it’s regular work-rest routines.

Occasionally I’ve understood that ‘rest’ is the rest of the work that remains to be done to meet a pressing deadline.

Rules, health, wisdom, heart attacks as warnings (better someone else’s – even if it never was as one heard, fatal, which makes for the best kind of lesson!)

There is a reason why they are called ‘dead’lines.

Live long and prosper, and mostly enjoy the abundant life God created us to enjoy, no matter the power of evil to rob many coveted things from us.

Walt Prausnitz, October 2, 1924 – September 17, 2005, ….

many years after I graduated from Concordia in 1979.

Beauty and Kindness, faith, hope and love … these are some of the things ‘deadlines’, evil, and the twin destroyers (ignorance and apathy) cannot steal from us … if we trust God to carry us even when we are too tired to carry on.