Posts Tagged ‘Work’

h1

“MONDAY MORNING GROAN” Jan. 7

January 7, 2019

“And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground,for out of it you were taken; for you are dust,and to dust you shall return.”  Genesis 3:17-19

man holding hoe

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

I do not till the soil nor do I cultivate seeds. I am not a farmer.
I am not a rancher. I do not graze livestock nor do I breed cattle.
My wages do not come from agriculture.

My wages are derived from services rendered in an office. I manage and design through contracted fees for purposes greater than my participation. While I don’t wield a pitchfork, my work is still exhausting. While I don’t lift produce, my efforts exceed my energy. I return from my daily labor exhausted but rarely is that exhaustion physical. My labor is of the mind and so is my fatigue.

Yet, I am under the same plague as those in agriculture. I work under the same curse of their labors. It is a curse long ago placed. There are no eyes remaining that saw its origin. It is a curse of such history that to imagine a world without it is akin to fantasy.

I know that this coming week of work will be filled with problems; political consequences upon our capacity, strategies for emerging trends, termination of a troublesome employee, delivery of a poor performance review of another, addressing of unseemly salutations of a third, and an assortment of challenges as yet unknown.
It will wear me out by the end of each day, but I will have lifted nothing. I will have pushed and persuaded but never engaged a muscle. I will have pulled an organization while never registering a watt.

These are the days that do not endear me to my job.

design desk display eyewear

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

I observe social media feeds of individuals apparently free from my travails. Traveling the world without a care toward employment; engrossed in the pursuit of their passion. I know workers who have completed their term and are enjoying the fruit of a pension. They are free from the duty due a paycheck and the obligations of a position.

Yet, I know that it is all an illusion. We are all caught between a blessing and a curse. We have lived in this middle ground for so long that we no longer even recognize it.

My exhaustion does not come from my work. I was made to work. From the beginning of creation, mankind was created to work. Adam was placed in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. Adam was made to work. I have the same form as Adam. I was made to work.

My work is a blessing. Work was given to us by God as our purpose. Work was to be pleasant, delightful, and fulfilling. Yet, it often isn’t but that is not the fault of work.

The fault lies in the unacknowledged curse. We live in a fallen world. The earth was cursed in response to Adam’s sin. Our work was intended to cultivate and keep the blessings of the Lord. Sin resulted in a twisting of that purpose into hardship. Work became labor and toil.

We were to live in harmony with creation as stewards of blessings. Sin exchanged harmony with difficultly. Nothing is easy under the curse. Work became a source of exhaustion. We were to be joyful stewards of bounty. Now, we are slaves to the dust we were formed from.

This is why I groan every Monday. This is why it is so hard to crawl out of bed on a workday. This is why the whole of creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth (Romans 8:22). We are laboring under the curse; Slaves to Murphy’s Law.
This is why I know that those who have achieved the blessed age of retirement are not freed from exhaustion. It is why I know the liberty of the jobless world traveler is an illusion.

We walk in blindness and insensibility when we don’t accurately attribute the source of our Monday morning groaning. The fallacy is the attribution of sadness and discontent to our employment. Problems will find us wherever we flee.

This is why I don’t place my hope in this world. The problems that await me within my week of work are simply inherent to this fallen world. I recognize the dreadful results of disharmony with our Creator.

This is why I collect the tokens of God’s goodness, which He has generously sprinkled throughout a world corrupted by the rebelliousness of sin. I might not be able to see a world as pure as that which appeared to Adam. However, I still can acknowledge the mercy and grace given by God to an undeserving world.

Therefore, I will appreciate my work, my purpose. As I ready myself for another week, I will strive to redeem my labor to its original creation for the glory of God as a faithful steward. I will separate my purpose from its problems. My purpose is the holy occupation that I have been blessed with. The resulting weariness and groaning are merely another reminder of my need for a Savior.

I am thankful that I have one.

man kneeling in front of cross

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for my job.  Thank you for giving  employment to provide for my needs and the needs of my family.  Help me to see beyond my groanings.  Help me to see the holy in my purpose.  Give me strength to endure the curse that is upon this earth for your glory.  Open me eyes to see all the blessings I have .  Thank you for the promise that one day your children will be freed from the corruption of this place.  Thank you for making a way through the salvation of Jesus Christ alone.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

h1

“THE CURSE OF WORK” – August 16

August 18, 2013

“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us…Now such person we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.”  2 Thessalonians 3:6, 3:12

Digging Ditch

Digging Ditch (Photo credit: Mozul)

I never realized the challenge of my parents.  They gave me chores.  They pushed and prodded me to complete my work; work that often sprang forth from their imagination.  Diabolical activities, motivated to make my life miserable.  They often succeeded.

I did not know what my parents were doing at the time.  I definitely did not appreciate their intentions.  I thought they were just profiting from free labor.

I now know that those hours in the sweltering sun produced more than a crooked fence, manicured lawn, or stacked hay.  My parents were building in me a work ethic.  They were teaching me what work feels like.

Work is a curse.  Labor does not feel good.  It might be rewarding.  It might feel satisfying but work by its very nature is work.  My natural inclination leans toward leisure.  I like vacations.  I enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Work often gets in the way of all the entertainment that I am drawn to.

However, work is so much more that earning a living and being responsible.  My parents were not teaching me to work only for the benefits of paycheck.  Work refines a very important spiritual discipline within us.  Work teaches us the spiritual gift of self-control.  That makes the curse of work a gift from our loving God.

God cursed work because we needed it to be cursed.  He had a purpose beyond punishment.

Idleness is all about self.  The sluggards are ruled by their selfish desires.  The lazy will prefer to sit and watch others work primarily because of a spiritual lack of self-control.  Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit.  It does not come to us naturally.  The sluggard lacks the self-control to turn from his natural desire toward self-gratification toward the service of others.

When God cursed work, He knew what He was doing.  He knew that man had a sinful heart whose greatest desire was going to be a love of self rather than God.  Self-love manifests itself in so many areas but our work ethic tends to be the most revealing. I would rather be served than to serve.  However, it is through work that the love for my neighbor can be seen.  It is through work that my love for God can be put on display.  When I am reclined in my idleness, all my words of theology are merely words.

Self-control spurs us out of the entropy of self-love and into service of others.  When work is intentional toward serving others, then we have a work ethic glorifying to God.

post hole

post hole (Photo credit: BarelyFitz)

I have now come full circle.  I am now the parent of a teenage son.  I have to get creative with tasks to make him sweat.  Hatching diabolical activities to make his life miserable is harder than I had thought.  It is often more work to get him to work than to just do the work. However, my efforts to make him work are about so much more than digging a few post holes.  It is about teaching him how to control a sinful and wayward heart.  The gift of God’s curse on work is a wonderful tool to tame the self-love of a sinful heart.  Work is good for his soul.

Someday, he will thank me.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for your purpose behind work.  Help me to continue to learn the lessons of self-control in all the areas of my life including work. Lord, I want to be a good father to my son.  Help me to take the time to teach him how to work.  Give me the patience to continue to prod him along.  Father, do your work on his heart.  May your Spirit teach him self-control.  Grow in him the fruit of self-control so that he may glorify You in his service to others.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

%d bloggers like this: