Friday, May 27, 2022

Rev. Klockers: Making it easier to find enjoyment our in toil

| October 14, 2021 1:00 AM

Ecclesiastes 2:24a says, “There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in their toil.”

I don’t know about you, but I find more enjoyment in what I do if there are ways to make it easier.

My morning routine has changed. I no longer sip coffee as the sun rises. I have learned that my stomach is getting a bit testier as I have grown older, and sadly, regular caffeinated coffee hasn’t helped matters.

So, I tried to change things up. I’ve experimented with decaf and less-acidic brands, but nothing has seemed to simultaneously satisfy my taste buds and my gut.

Fortunately, I did eventually find a product that hits the mark – chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate, right?

What I now sip in the morning is called “Crio Bru.” It’s 100% pure ground cacao. On the label, it says “99.9% caffeine free.” It’s expensive, but I love the taste and it has given my gut no problems (so far).

There has been another change. I prepare my cup of liquid dark chocolate using a French press. So, my coffee brewer currently sits idle.

I spoon the ground cacao into the French press, pour in hot water, stir, let it sit 8 minutes, stir again, let it set for another 2 minutes, press down the solids, and finally pour the liquid into my mug. I then add my favorite non-dairy creamer, and a touch of liquid stevia – and there is one more thing I do.

In our family, I am the one designated to wash the dishes. This means that I load and unload the dishwasher and also take care of items that need to be washed by hand.

One of my pet peeves is having to spend an exorbitant amount of time washing something that had been sitting in the sink for a while. This can be avoided by (at least) a light rinsing right after they have been used. It should only take a few seconds.

The French press is a prime example. It needs to be hand-washed. After I pour the liquid chocolate into my mug, I immediately throw away the grounds and rinse out the press.

If I were to let things sit, I have discovered that it takes more time and effort to remove the grounds from parts of the press.

The same goes for the blender after my wife uses it to make her morning smoothie. I am thankful that she has agreed to rinse it out immediately. Such a simple proactive practice saves a lot of work in the long run.

In the past, even after it comes out of the dishwasher, I’ve still had to hand-wash some spinach off of the glass.

Why make more work for ourselves by letting something sit (and perhaps get worse)?

Where might this apply in your life?

Perhaps there is that heart-to-heart conversation that needs to be done for your own peace of mind?

There might be a re-evaluation of priorities of what needs to get done during your typical week.

Why not pray for God for guidance and follow through?

It might provide for less toiling and more enjoying in the future.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Moses Lake and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.