I am not much of a Greek mythology aficionado. You can keep your Zeus and Hercules and Aphrodite. I prefer my fictional super heroes as caped or web wielding crusaders (with the occasional starred and striped shield thrown in for hometown fun).
But the Greek myths do sometimes captivate–woven as they are with threads of moral substance and ethical expectations. And there are the times when the myths clang in the head like an out of tune but much rung gong…echoing over and over, “This is your life; this is you.”
And so I have my Sisyphus Days. Sisyphus? He was (according to the myths) the rascal king of what would be later called Corinth. He lied and he killed in order to maintain his grip on power. He tricked and beguiled and even managed to get the better of Hades and Thanatos (the personification of Death) for a while.
Eventually he became just too much trouble and was sentenced to roll a huge boulder (not the city in Colorado; a large, you know, rock) up a mountain side. Within sight of the mountain’s summit, the boulder would tumble back down hill and Sisyphus would have to start all over again. Sisyphus thought he was smarter than Zeus; he wasn’t. You have to admit, the Greek gods were judicially clever.
So Sisyphus becomes the rascal condemned to never finish anything. He will roll that rock over and over and over and over and over again up that hill. But Sisyphus will never be done. The rock will always falter just short of the peak and will begin again its smash and trash, high speed plunge to the bottom of the mountain.
I have days like that; sometimes weeks; sometimes entire enterprises that seem like they will never be done. Just when I get the “rock of the day” close to what I think is the summit, it slips away and careens down the hillside; lurches to a stop, and beckons me to come once more to begin the push.
There are vocational days like that; there are relational days like that; there are a whole lot of Christian days like that. Sisyphus days…days that frustrate with the ends not tied up or the things concluded. Days that mock with their sense of pseudo-finish only to then point to the boulder just beginning its return trip…back to the beginning…back to the place of “again.”
Character issues, maturity issues, church issues, are all fodder for Sisyphus Days. So many times of dealing with so much of the same faltering near finishes.
I know, perseverance is key. But perseverance wears one out…particularly on the Sisyphus Days.
Holding onto the hope of ultimate completion in Christ, I open the calendar to see that it portends yet another Sisyphus Day.
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).
(c) All rights reserved. Scripture from the New International Version.