One of the main reasons I give for procrastinating on a project is that I just don't have the right tools. I'll look at the amount of work, assess what I need to complete the project, and then assign myself the task of finding the right tools to do the job.
This can take months.
Having the right tools to do a job makes work much easier. In our modern era, we get cordless 18v power drills, for example, that are capable of quickly and efficiently putting screws in place in a fraction of the time hand-twisted a screw in would take. And with these tools comes to ability to do more work, more effectively.
Except when we do not have the tools. In our Scripture reading from this Sunday, the Hebrews request of the Egyptian Pharaoh permission to go into the wilderness and pray and worship their God. This frightens Pharaoh because it means that the Hebrews, who have been slaves of his kingdom, are finding their identity by finding their God and each other. Letting them gather together would allow them to understand how powerful they really are. He denies their request.
But like any shrewd person in power, he also realizes that his workforce will sooner or later become aware of their power and organize to seize control of their own lives from him. So, he distracts them by making their jobs harder.
"Cease giving the people straw," he declares, forcing them to source the straw necessary for the creation of bricks in a country that is mostly arid land, while maintaining quota demands for workable bricks.
What are ways that you, and maybe some people you know, have been denied "straw" in their workplaces? What are ways that the denial of something essential for our lives has been missing for so long that we do not even know that it's missing? That's what we will explore this Sunday. What is missing? Where is the straw? What do we need to source that should be reasonably expected as part of our lives that is missing?
See you Sunday!