Steaming Piles of Productivity
The productive life is sticky, gooey, and bloody.
It’s a messy life. Be that as it may, the productive life is the good life.
It ought to be pursued with vigor.
But you will not be productive if you want an always clean and risk free life.
Sweat, blood, and dung are inherent to this sort of living.
Why? It is, in part, due to the fall of mankind and the resulting curse (Gen 3).
In The Story of Sex in Scripture, William Mouser explains:
In addition to the sentence of death, God curses the work of man and woman, that is, the productivity of their specific domains. Since Adam comes from the ground to work the ground, God curses the ground. It will be unproductive; labor will be hard. His own body will sweat as he struggles to make a living from a rebellious earth even as he journeys towards death, to return to the dust from which he was made.
Woman is not made directly from the earth or for the earth. She is made from the man and for the man—for people. The curse affects her relationships in the family. First, her unique and central area of productivity—childbearing—is cursed with all sorts of pain and difficulty. Second, her created ability and desire to help her husband is cursed with a contradictory desire to rule him rather than to help him.
By nature, each sex is driven to be fruitful in a way particular to their unique design. But the pursuit of that productivity always comes with the sting of the curse. Men want to cultivate a field—but that requires the hard work of overcoming thorns. Women want to cultivate a family—but that requires submission to a man, and the pain of bearing children.
There is a redemptive purpose to the curse. It functions as an abiding chastisement to lead us to repentance. As we struggle to do what we are made to do, we are reminded that we live in a creation desperately in need of redemption.
The pursuit of productivity follows an uphill pathway covered in thorns. It will make you sweat. It will make you bleed. It will make you cry. Productivity leaks body fluids everywhere. The harder you go at, the more you leak.
And there isn’t just sweat and blood. There is also dung. Lots and lots of dung.
The productivity life is a crappy life.
Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”
You can have an always neat and tidy manager. But if you turn the manager into a museum, you will do so at the cost of the strength of the ox. There is a price you must pay for the productivity of the ox. It must be fed and kept safe. This requires a manager. And want goes in must come out. Hence…
The productivity of an ox results steaming piles of dung.
The productivity of a womb results in diapers swollen like a water balloon.
The productivity of a workshops means dust and wood chips.
The productivity of a new alternator means bust knuckles soaked in oil.
The productive life is sticky, gooey, and bloody. It’s gross. If you can’t embrace that, you won’t be productive.
A word of warning.
The consumptive life is also is messy. For example, gluttony leads to inflammation, diabetes, and bad skin. You consumption can make you bleed and ache from the inside out. Thus, pain and mess, in of themselves, aren’t evidence of productivity.
You must discern the difference.
"Messy" is not only okay but an inevitable part of the good life.
Don't be ashamed. Embrace it. Get things done.