I obviously lack maturity. If you have been here longer than about ten minutes, this will not astound you (though you could strive for politeness and stifle the snort and eye roll), so maybe it is not surprising that when I read the story of Jacob and his journey to his sweet baboo, Rachel, which takes an interesting detour through her sister Leah, there are many things that give me pause. Not the least of which — my kingdom for a lamp! Even brief eye contact on your wedding night (albeit one-sided — Leah is specifically said to be weak of eye) would have saved some grief!
If you are worried that I have been early in the eggnog this bright and cheerful morning, head over to Genesis to read the whole story. Then come back here and see that I wasn’t crazy after all. And I might even be going somewhere with this. According to Webster:
thermodynamics : a measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system’s disorder, that is a property of the system’s state, and that varies directly with any reversible change in heat in the system and inversely with the temperature of the system
broadly : the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system
: the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity
: a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder.”
Sin entered the world. We live under the curse of sin, you might say, under the curse of entropy. It is Monday morning — I don’t really have to convince anyone of this, do I? There is a table near my front door that was not only clear of clutter, but dusted as of Saturday night. This morning, it is piled with the debris of a day of rest. Even rest produces some level of domestic chaos (I might argue even more chaos, if you are really doing it right).
Perhaps there is a temptation to sigh today. Perhaps the weight of cyclical work, the futility of imposing order onto the busyness and the chaos of your home is crushing your windpipe a bit. Worse, perhaps you are staring up at the mountain of sin that you thought you had gotten cleaned up that has somehow re-established itself and is threatening to topple you, your marriage, your family, your friendships, your “insert field of battle here”.
It is always Leah in the morning.
But God did not leave His beloved creation cursed. As soon as we botched up His perfect gifts, He promised a better Gift, the One who would undo the curse by the sacrifice of Himself for the winning of His beloved (you. Sit with that a moment) and set absolutely everything right (we are within counting distance of Advent… it is not too soon to get excited. It is not too late to turn a sigh into a shout). Entropy does not get the final word. The serpent is not getting the laughs, first, last or otherwise.
Glory, however, is at the end of a road of suffering. Christ’s was. Yours is. Your best plans for your day will not enable you to bypass the Leah of affliction, because God has written Leah into your story. He is actively turning the world upside down — because it is His, He is Lord NOW, ruling now, King now. And you are called to good works today, good work that He prepared in advance for you, good work that will sometimes break your heart and your body. The disappointments are by design. But God is not some corrupt uncle, and your pain is not pointless. He is making all things new. There is nothing loss that will not be found, no disappointment or grief that will not be healed beyond earthly recognition.
Press on. Put in your time, with energy and joy, fight back against the encroaching clutter of sin and disorder, because the end is certain. You can throw yourself into the years of hard labor, knowing that while for now, it is always Leah in the morning, for eternity, it will be Rachel. It will be worth it. It will be the Beloved.