Taking Delight in What We Do: The Power of Work in the Reconciliation of the Land
Think about how many times you have heard someone say they hate their job. More and more, outside of people working in the church, I have found that people hate their jobs. I very rarely hear people say ‘what can I do to get better at my job’, or ‘how can I bring God glory through stocking shelves at the supermarket?’ Instead, people complain endlessly about the horrible world of work that they have been placed in. Where is the Joy and wonder that leads to overwhelming thankfulness? Where is the thankfulness that God gave humans hands to praise him through work? We have become a people that are afraid to get our hands dirty (in the dirt).
In general, most of us do not grow our own food. We buy almost everything from the supermarket. This leads to a massive disconnect from the land where the food is grown. The land, on the other hand is being fed chemicals to deal with weeds and produce greater yields. It is easy to live in this disconnected state where the dollar is the provider and we do not think very much about where our food comes from. However, as good stewards of the land, it is important to know how our choices impact the world around us. One thing that is pretty amazing is growing a garden. I challenge you to grow one if you have not. There is no feeling quite like picking your own vegetables that you grew. As you bite into that delicious corn that you planted, a smile forms on your face. We were created to work diligently. Our work becomes worship to God. Through our work, we exercise what it means to be humans made in the image of God. We are created beings and therefore we create. There is tremendous joy and satisfaction in the reward of one's work.
What are some ways that we can take pride in our work without becoming prideful?
Maintain a thankful heart
One of the keys to taking joy in our work is to have a thankful heart. When people see someone with a thankful heart, they are more likely to become thankful. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes work is not fun. In these moments we need to be reminded that work is a gift to better this planet that we live on and to show love to the people around us.
Try something new
I remember the first time that I grew my own alfalfa sprouts for sandwiches. I put the little seeds in a jar with a little bit of water and rinsed the jar every day for a couple of weeks. The alfalfa sprouts grew to fill the jar. I took them out and put them on a piece of bread with some cream cheese. The taste was delicious in more ways than one. In that moment I had a different kind of thankfulness because I helped make the sprouts for my sandwich. If I had never tried to grow those sprouts, I never would have eaten that delicious sandwich. You to can go grow something new. Challenge yourself to grow something or take care of something. Don’t say that you are no good at gardening if you have never tried. If you have tried and it was a massive failure, educate yourself and keep trying. Take great joy in your work and eat the fruit of labour by the work of your hands. Worship the Lord in thankfulness for he is worthy of all of our praises.