By Pastor Vern Kratz
Whether you are a manual laborer, or a pencil pusher; an artist, or on an assembly line; the boss, or an intern; a homemaker, or have a big office downtown – we were all created to work.
That’s right. Our ultimate purpose isn’t to make enough money to find some sense of euphoria in retirement – our purpose is found in what our hands find to do right now – our jobs.
Today’s culture twists it around and we begin to think it’s all about living for the weekend, and counting down the years to retirement, but that isn’t what God intended for us. I do believe in taking time to relax, recreate, and take time to rejuvenate. But we need to find fulfillment and joy in our place of work because it is what God has created us for.
Right from the very beginning of time it is recorded in Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
If you struggle each day going to work, you have one of four choices: 1. Quit your job and stay in bed, or 2. Keep living like your living, and stay miserable, or 3. Quit your job and find a new one, or 4. Change your attitude towards your job.
Obviously just quitting and choosing not to work isn’t a good option, because we know God wants us to work. But continuing on without making any changes isn’t healthy either. God wants us to find fulfillment in what we do. So that leaves the last 2 options as the only real viable options left. Before you jump ship and look for a new job I strongly challenge you to make sure you have the right attitude towards work first. Because even if you are blessed to find a different job, if you take the same attitude to your new job, it won’t take long until you find yourself in the same rut again. But if we change our attitude towards our job and our work then we can do almost anything to glory of God!
We can pray before we write, paint, perform surgery, balance the ledger, pour concrete, prepare a meal, or pull weeds – and ask God to help us do our very best so that he will receive glory through our task. In this way we are consciously seeking to set apart our work for God and his purposes.
Brother Lawrence was a monk from the 17th century. He spent most of his life within the walls of the priory, due to his lack of education he could never become a cleric, but rather worked in the kitchen for most of his life and as a repairer of sandals in his later years. I love this quote by him:
“We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for the love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up straw from the ground for the love of God.”
What a wonderful attitude to have towards work! “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might!” Ecclesiastes 9:10