Sunday, September 1, 2013

Your Clue: Adam. In The Garden. With A Rake

From today's TIMES and NEWS-STAR

Not to sound or be sacrilegious, but sometimes my mind does wander and ends up wondering off-beat things about God, like, for instance, this:

When God invented, let’s say, sausage, did He take the rest of the day off?

Have you ever eaten sausage, right off the grill, folded into a yeast roll or a soft biscuit? I have. And I heard angles sing. It always tastes even better than I’d remembered it, even though I always remember it as a Slam Dunk.

Right now I am hooked on Erkrich Smoked Sausage, skinless, made with pork, turkey, beef, and, though it’s not advertised, love. Fifteen minutes on indirect heat, then right over the fire for a minute or two and you are ready to do some serious thanksgiving. Cost maybe $3.

Joy? I would say, uh, yes. 

So I wonder sometimes if God said, after inventing sausage or sunshine or periwinkle blooms or milkshakes, “That’s it. It won’t get any better today. I’ve topped out, hard as that is to believe, honest to Me.”

He must have amazed even Himself at some of the things he made for us to see and taste and hear and touch. As much trouble as they can be, consider the 5-month-old baby: I heard a guy say this week that it’s hard to be mad at anybody when you’re holding a 5-month-old baby.

Some things are just Top Shelf.

These thoughts seem random (imagine that!) but are tied under the umbrella of Labor Day, quickly approaching and not a minute too soon for the likes of me. It’s usually a day when I stand around another guy’s grill and pretend to help him prepare food. Then, with the grub ready, I pretend I am that skinny guy on televised competitions who can, against all odds, eat 240 hotdogs in a half hour.

Come Labor Day Evening, with a nice bloat working, I watch football and do my impersonation of the world’s biggest tick sitting on a sofa under a ball cap.

I love Labor Day.

Labor Day is certainly a mix of food and of things beautiful – the green summer just past, the auburn autumn to come. But it’s also a celebration of labor, through our rest from it.

Have you ever played CLUE, the board game? The first game of CLUE could have gone only like this:

Adam. In the Garden. With the rake.

Because one of man’s earliest callings was the one to work. We’re only in Genesis 2 in the Bible when we read that God put man in the Garden of Eden “to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2 is fairly early in the ol’ ballgame.

So work must be a good thing, and don’t forget it. A couple of my hard-working friends have had health setbacks recently and have missed work and are beyond displeased because they enjoy work, though both are past retirement age. But, what’s retirement age? My most contented retired friends are ones who still tend the Garden, whether it’s baking cakes for shut-ins or showing up to support grandchildren or volunteering their time to help at the hospital or children’s club. 

We never get a break from tending the Garden. We rest while it grows, rest between watering, rest while the soil readies, but we never retire from the Garden.

Just something to chew on this Labor Day, besides the sausage and ribs and grilled chicken. So eat up. Rest up. Enjoy. See you Tuesday, back at work, back in the Garden.