I am going to spend the next three weeks writing about three things I am thankful for.
This week I am thankful for work. That’s right, work!
When I reflect on creation, one of the things God did with man, after creating him, was to give him a job – “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it” Genesis 2:15. Furthermore, we see in verses 19 and 20, God gave Adam the task of naming the animals God had created.
The point being, the Garden of Eden wasn’t some hedonistic vacation that God simply placed Adam into. Adam and his heirs were given the task of cultivating and maintaining, “working” God’s creation. It is later, after the fall that work became “frustrating.” We should not confuse the result of sin causing work to be frustrating with the false belief that work BEGAN as a result of sin.
One of the best sermons I ever heard on the importance of work was by Dr. Drew Landry, Senior Pastor of Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg Virginia during Spotswood’s annual “Stewardship Month” in February 2008. I have gone back multiple times throughout the years to review this message – and I share it with you, (http://spotswood.org/mp3/2008/02/20080217.1130.mp3) because it provides a paradigm shift, in my opinion, on how we should think about work – especially those in the Christian faith based community.
The world typically views work as “a necessary evil.” Often we hear, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go,” or “Everybody’s working for the weekend,” as became popular via the 80’s band Loverboy. In other words, work is something we are forced to drudge through in order to get to the real purpose of life, leisure.
“The men who represented the 13 colonies when The Declaration of Independence was written thought so highly of the importance of being productive, they referenced it in the very first sentence of the preamble of the Declaration. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The word Happiness was originally property. In other words – in the first sentence, they encouraged all individuals, to use their GOD GIVEN life and liberty, TO BE PRODUCTIVE, to pursue property / happiness. Nowhere did they guarantee property / happiness, but they encouraged all individuals to be productive in their pursuit of such things.”
I am thankful for this combination. I appreciate our founders highlighting the importance of individuals using their God given gifts and talents to pursue property / happiness. While there is nothing wrong with pursuing happiness or property, that should not be the sole purpose of work. Colossians 3:17 states “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to the Father.” In other words – our work is to be done for the glory of Jesus Christ; therefore, we are to do it to the best of our ability, at all times – even when it is frustrating.
When we look at the society we see so many opportunities and so many challenges – the sky really is the limit, if we are simply willing to put our hands to the plow – and go to work!
Proverbs 16:27 – “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
Yes, it’s true – I am thankful for work!