I kind of hate routine.
I think the hatred stems from my ingrained, wild gypsy tendencies. . .this longing to utterly rebel against conformity. To set out on a path just for the adventure and the unknown. To let loose from all restraints and strike out in a certain direction.
But at the same time, I am learning to like routine. Since moving to Oklahoma, I have begun to enjoy the stability of living in one place again. Knowing where to shop or eat. Seeing the same faces in the library, the gas station, the post office.
I must emphasize the word learning. I find I still chafe a bit at the restraints of a schedule. Recently, our pastor encouraged our church to learn to enjoy the boring routine of life. He instructed us to set a routine and stick to that routine.
And I thought of Anah.
I have never met Anah. I have only read about him. Apparently, his father Zibeon owned asses (donkeys). And Anah had one sibling named Ajah. Also, apparently, Anah took care of the donkeys for his father. (In this post, I will refer to them as donkeys.)
I was reading through Genesis 36 one morning and came upon verse 24:
This was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father.
I do not know why, but this verse struck me as hilarious. I am sure you never have been tempted to laugh while reading Scripture. I have my siblings to thank for helping me develop this weird sense of humor.
But back to Anah. I have read his one-sentence story before, but as it was squeezed into a long list of names and dukes and so on, I had not thought about him too much. Obviously, God thought it was important that we know about Anah because He mentions Anah by name. He also tells us that Anah was going along and doing what he always did–taking care of his father’s donkeys. And suddenly, out in the wilderness, mules appeared.
A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. According to the website Bible Archaeology, donkeys and mules were valuable means of transportation in Anah’s time. They also served as a sign of wealth. The more donkeys or mules you owned, the richer you were.
Anah’s father Zibeon was rich because he already owned donkeys. But when Anah found the mules in the wilderness, he made his father even richer. All he was doing was taking care of his normal business for the day.
Why did God put Anah’s story in the Bible? I am sure it was not just to make my little mind spin. All I can surmise is that He wanted us to know that in the mundane, in the boring, in the routine, riches can be found.
One sentence. One sentence describes Anah’s life and his amazing discovery. I am sure people talked about his amazing discovery for many years. Then God recorded it in Scripture.
This verse made me pause and think about the one-sentence story I would want my life to tell. What would people say about me? She was kind. She was spiritual. She was industrious. She was. . .finding mules in the wilderness. I doubt I will ever find a mule in my wilderness, but I might find some other important treasures.
Which means I ought to be busy about my Father’s business today.