Knocking Down Pins

The bowling alley at the airbase where I served in the US Navy was an excellent divergent from the long hours of maintaining our squadrons aircraft and performing daily watches. It was an old facility without an automatic pin reset system. An individual was behind the scene repetitively setting up the next course of bowling pins.

Fast-forward to today, I was listening to a song by Sara Grove’s, “Setting Up the Pins.” The clever lyrics encourage listeners to find joy in the repetitive, routine tasks that sometimes feel as pointless as manually setting up bowling pins over- and- over again, only to have someone knock them down.

Laundry. Cooking. Shopping. Confinement. Life seems full of tasks that, once completed, must be done again—and again. This isn’t a new struggle but an old frustration, one wrestled with in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. The book opens with the writer complaining about the endless cycles of daily human life as futile (1:2–3), even meaningless, because “what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again” (v. 9).

What are the “pins” you’re continually setting up? In these times when repetitive tasks begin to feel tiring, may we take a moment during this COVID-19 pandemic to offer each task with a spirit of joy and humility, showing others the meaning of selfless love.

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Be Safe in the Region of Risk

Roger Hughes

Decoding Human Factors, LLC

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