Monday, April 22, 2013
Do You Enjoy Your Daily Work?
God has given to each one of us work to do. The question is: Do we enjoy the work He has called us to? In all honesty, I hate grocery shopping. I don't mind going to the store to get the items we need for the week, but unpacking at home is anything but fun. I feel the same way about cleaning toilets, scrubbing out bathtubs and polishing wood floors. It isn't fun but someone has to do it. Still, when I finish the chores, I do enjoy sitting back knowing that my home is clean.
Working four days a week at my husband's office can also be a challenge for me. Hearing the alarm at 5:51 in the morning is not a sound I look forward to, but I know that God has called me to walk alongside my spouse and demonstrate the love of Christ to all I meet. It is what God has ordained for me at this time. In fact, the Bible has something to say about enjoying our work whether in the home or outside of it.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 tells us about our toil: "What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that He cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil -this is God's gift to man." What a new way of looking at work! We are to be joyful and take pleasure in what we do because God has given our work to us as a gift.
When it comes to fleshing this out, I still do not see great enjoyment in cleaning toilets, but I do feel satisfaction when the bathroom is clean. After cooking a good meal, I have the pleasure of consuming it. There are always positives to the work that we do if we will look at it from God's perspective. This passage makes us aware that we do not always understand God's purposes or plans for us, but we know this: "He has made all things beautiful in its time." He wants us to bloom where He has planted us for His glory.
All of us would like to think that we know what tomorrow will bring, but as the writer of Ecclesiastes says: "Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." There are many mysteries in life. We don't always know why God has us doing the work we are currently involved in whether at home or outside the home. Yet, we know this. He holds our future in His hands. He wants us to be content where He has us at this time whether it is flipping burgers at Mcdonald's or cleaning toilets at home. After all, God's perspective on work is that it is a gift to us so that we may enjoy the fruit of our labors.
I remember well how happy my father was to be a farmer. He and I would often talk about his chosen profession. He started to attend college and did very well at it with the goal of becoming an attorney like his father. However, he left it behind not because it was too difficult for him but because he loved plowing a field and watching a crop come in. This brought him joy and he felt closest to God when he worked on the farm. This is what I believe the message of this passage points out.
As the Westminster Shorter Catechism says in question one: "What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (I Cor. 10:31, Psalm 73:24-26)." Therefore, let us bring God the glory with a good attitude, a heart filled with joy and the satisfaction in a job well done at our work place, in our home or wherever God has called us to serve Him. When we rejoice in the gift of work, we will do a better job as well as honor the Lord who gave us the work to do. Selah!
Pictures courtesy of Wiki Commons GeorgHH and Chuck Marean are the photographers.