On Work

I work a lot. Not any more than your average 20something living in DC, and probably a little less. But nevertheless, I spend about 1/3 of my waking hours sitting behind a computer screen in an office building.

Why?

Do I work to put food on my table? To finance my lifestyle? To make a difference? Is it drudgery? Am I passionate about it? Do I feel energized or drained when I contemplate my work? Does the faith that I profess have any wisdom to offer a worker who does not plant seeds or serve a king or fish? And what do I do with these questions?

I am passionate about families. I love the Church. I’m organized. Details don’t scare me. It’s hard for me to think outside of the box but I enjoy implementing the creativity of others. Punctuality is one of my governing values.

How do these facets of myself come together and shape my philosophy of work? I believe that I am supposed to work. That it is good for my soul to create, produce, toil. As with so many things, it’s in the specifics that I get tripped-up. So today, I take a step back and look at the whole canvas. I listen to the voices of those who have asked the same questions and I rest.

For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

-Exodus 20:11

Man was made to be creative, with his mind and his hands. Work is part of the dignity of his existence.”

-Sinclair Ferguson

The Church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours, and to come to church on Sundays. What the Church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables.”

– Dorothy Sayers

…it fulfills its highest calling when into all the clamor of Hell it tells the unbearable, beautiful, truth that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again. None of these songs and stories matter if the beauty they’re adding to isn’t the kind of beauty that redeems and reclaims… That anyone at all in the world would set their sad heart and tired hands to the work of wreaking beauty out of chaos is a monument to Grace. It reminds us of light and high beauty, and it laments the world’s great sorrow. It gives the heart language to rejoice and language to mourn… Let those in Christ whose hands paint worlds, whose tongues limn loveliness, whose ears hear astral strains–let them make, and make, and make. And let the made things adorn the dark and proclaim the coming Kingdom till the King himself is come.”

Andrew Peterson

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