Establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17 NIV
There are days I like my job. Problems are solved. Questions are answered. I get things done. Learn something new. I feel really good about my work.
Then there are other days. The days I don’t like my job. Solutions to the problems aren’t found. The questions can’t be answered and the piles on my desk remind me of my frustrations more than anything.
And that’s only the work I do for income. There is my work at home, yard work, and volunteer work. Then there’s the work I do pursuing my hobbies. Like writing or running. Some of you paint or build tables or plan parties.
Whatever the kind – work is a big chunk of our lives. It would be ideal if we liked all of our work all of the time. But that’s not how it is. Even if you have a great job that you love, there will be good days and bad days. Productive days and not so much days. Days with happy co-workers and days with grumpy ones. Some of my most challenging work days were when I stayed home with my children!
Your hobby work will produce beautiful masterpieces some days, and other days nothing. The 4 mile run is easy some days, other days the fight for breath is almost too much. The housework is tedious, the yard work strenuous.
Although much of what we face in our work is out of our control, we can choose to do whatever work we are doing excellently and with care.
There is a story of a young mother named Jane. She was in a desperate situation after her husband died suddenly. So desperate that she went down to the river to drown herself. Across the river in a field a young man was plowing with such skill and care that she became absorbed in the sight of it. She stared and stared as the young man worked diligently. Her amazement “turned to thanksgiving, and her thanksgiving to a sense of purpose. She rose, went forth, and lived a long a productive life.”*
A man doing honest work with remarkable care saved Jane’s life.
Do you work like that?
I hope I do. Work is such a significant part of our lives, we should make sure to do it like it matters.
That’s my Live Like It Matters Challenge to you today. Work like it matters.
Think your job doesn’t matter? Too menial? Think no one notices? It matters to someone. It matters more than you know. I was inspired by the work of a garbage man and shared it in The Extra Mile.
No matter the job – you can do it so that it inspires others.
Hairdressers and accountants and drive-thru order takers and pallet makers and bridal dress consultants and process technicians and movie actors and authors and carpenters and lawn care techs and assembly line workers and engineers.
Your work matters. My work matters.
Work like it matters.
“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets, even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
*This story is originally told in Os Guinness’ book The Call and retold by Mark Buchanan in The Rest of God.