Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Blessing of Work

Every human on earth has experienced work in some capacity one way or another in their lifetime. I would hazard to say that most of those people have also grumbled and complained about their work many times during their lifetime. After all, work is labor. It is toilsome and occupies most of our waking hours. It becomes mundane, oftentimes, boring, and probably is the cause of most of the stress in our lives.

Work starts early in our lives with having to do chores as children. How often do you hear a hearty, "Yes, Mom, I'd love to take out the trash." or "Yes, Dad, there's nothing I'd rather do than mow the lawn for you." Don't parents usually hear a groan instead, or deal with procrastination by having to repeat their request over and over again?

How about adults? Are we any different? Do we walk into our place of employment kicking up our heels eager and happy to get on with whatever we are expected to do? Do we anticipate a great day whistling while we work? I would say that most people drag their feet to work dreading to face the day and all the problems that come along with the work they do. Work becomes dull, mundane, oftentimes stressful, and something that HAS to be done to provide for their families. Why else would we anticipate vacation time so expectantly----ahhhh, a few days away from this toil and labor!!!

In the beginning, God Himself worked six days in creating the heavens and the earth and everything in them. Did He groan, moan, complain after His work was completed? No. He looked at his work with satisfaction and said it "was very good." When God placed man in the Garden of Eden, God put him there to "work it and take care of it." (Gen. 2:15). There was not the sin issue then to deal with in the Garden. Adam toiled with complete and utter enjoyment in his work. He did not have weeds, thorns, disease, insects, etc. to battle to keep the Garden perfect. Adam walked with God in the garden in perfect unity and fellowship as they enjoyed their creative work of their hands together.

Then Eve ate the apple and everything changed. The ground was cursed, and work became painful, hard and toilsome. Thorns and thistles had to be dealt with. Work brought sweat to the brow (stress). No longer was work a joy for Adam or the generations that followed.

Yet, in Ecclesiastes, Soloman discovered work as a blessing---a gift from God. "A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too I see as from the hand of God." (Eccles. 2:24) "That every man may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all his toil---this is the gift of God." (Ecc. 3:13).

Work can bring satisfaction and contentment if we do what we do "as unto the Lord." It is our way of saying thank you to God for the skills and abilities He has given us in order to make the world a better, safer place to live for everyone. If we see work as a means of only satisfying our own greed, then we have missed the whole point of God's gift of work to us. He has given each of us different talents, skills and abilities to benefit mankind as a whole so that we can enjoy life more fully.

We can work grimly or gladly. We can do our work "heartily" or "hardly". We can give our all-out effort with a good attitude, or we can grumble and complain and accomplish little. Thank God for the job you have. You are there for a purpose. Fulfill that purpose to the best of your God-given abilities and trust that He will bless you for your toil and labor.

Enjoy your day and do whatever you do "as unto the Lord."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where have you gone Sandy. I miss you !

4:46 PM  

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