Sunday, March 20, 2011

FAITH: Perspective on Work

An interesting Christian perspective on work, which is timely.  I'm working a lot, and it's hard, but I'm grateful to be able to say that it's satisfying.  I didn't have much time to elaborate on my last post, which was after a 15-hr workday, during which I got a lot done and just felt peace amid the fast-paced, keeping-all-the-balls-in-the-air day. 

What drives me? 

In no particular order...
1. The inability to give less than my best.  "Inability" may be too strong of a word, but "need" doesn't fit.  It's not like I go crazy or have a breakdown if I'm not giving my best... it's just what I do.  I can't fathom doing something half-heartedly.  One exception... I'm sad to say that I feel like I follow God half-heartedly, but I'm not sure what to do about that or how to overcome it.  Often, events/crises cause us to realize our need of Him, when we can't just coast along, but that's a scary thought.  I feel like things are crazy enough usually, and I'm already swimming hard to keep up with the current.  Fellow Christians inspiring me towards wanting to pursue the things after God's heart and to follow hard after God often does it the most for me, although it seems a bit tainted if I'm doing it only when I see others doing it.  Things I'm not doing much of right now, that could help... 1. serving others and being less focused on my own needs, and 2. reading the Word more.  For point 1, I haven't found a way of doing it where I've found much success, outside of doing manual labor.  I'm not very good at getting to know people quickly, but I can love people and work my heart out for them physically.  I often feel like God has blessed me with a fit body so that I can help in that way.  As for point 2, sometimes, sermons and passages and books seem old. The Word is supposed to be living, always applicable and able to teach, but it hasn't seemed that way lately.  Not sure what to do about that.  When I was reading Psalms towards the end of last year during lunch times, it did strike me that it kind of opened my eyes to the priorities of God - righteousness, mercy, faithfulness, love, etc.  Maybe if I tried again... I'm supposed to memorize Philippians 1 by the end of March, as a part of a resolution with a friend, so with 10 days left and pretty much the whole chapter to go, I guess I'll be getting more into it soon, haha. 

2. To support the people I love. 

3. To lessen the load on co-workers I really care about.  I don't know how some of them do it, raising families while working as much as they do.  I can barely take care of myself.  I work, eat, run, veg on tv, and sleep if there's time leftover.  They are such kind people, some of the people I get to work with, just amazing, and I want them to be able to spend time with the people they love and sleep easier at night.  My mind races at night with my to-do lists... maybe it's just me, worrying too much.  I hope they don't go through that.  Maybe it's unreasonable for me to have this as a reason, but it's a strong reason.

4. It fits what I'm good at doing pretty well... a good blend of my interests and abilities.  Having opportunities to travel while doing it is also pretty cool. 

Anyway... my thoughts after reading the excerpt from the link...

I've never really though of work in that way.  I've thought of running in that way - "where a person forgets himself, where he loses himself in a cause, in reality, the task, the 'it.'"  and "every word, every work, every labor of the Christian becomes a prayer; not in the unreal sense of a constant turning away from the task that must be done, but in a real breaking through the hard 'it' to the gracious Thou. 'Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus' (Col. 3:17)."

Why do I like to run?  I like to be the best that I can.  I like winning (affirmation).  Aside from the great stress relief, the great body (haha), I like the feeling of pushing myself, refining myself and coming out stronger.  The discomfort is a pleasure because of it. 

I think perhaps my wiring to always want to give my tasks everything I have is my way of honoring God?  I don't do the work/run or the honoring of God consciously, and maybe that makes it not really honoring God.  But maybe I could start doing it consciously. 

"The prayer of the morning will determine the day." I think I want to start doing that... asking God at the beginning of the day that I would honor him with what I do, in the work itself and in my interactions with others.  That I'd do things dilligently and honestly and kindly, not in self-seeking ways.  That I'd do things well.  Not so that I can have super-natural mental abilities or speediness, or even a less stressed mind, although those would all be pretty nice, but just to honor God, to whom all praise is due.  Dedicated to God... that's what I want each day to be.

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