Photo Above: Longshen Rice Terraces, China. Photographer: Severin.Stalder
Being Content with Work
“Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
“Any idiot can face a crisis. It’s the day to day living that wears you out.” Anton Chekov
Recent studies show that most people don’t find their jobs enjoyable. This to some degree makes sense, because we know after the fall of man, our work has been cursed. Of course there are multitudes of reasons why we may not enjoy or even hate our jobs. But I think as Christians we can and should be able to have contentment and even joy in bad work situations. Brother Lawrence is a great example of this.
Brother Lawrence who was author of “Practicing the Presence of God”, learned over time to enjoy the monotony of tedious tasks, and to bring glory to God through those tasks. He was a monk in France in the 14th century. He felt called by God to join a Priory in Paris. It was here he was not able to become a cleric due to his lack of education, so he was assigned to the kitchen. At first Brother Lawrence despised the mundane and routine tasks of the kitchen, but overtime his perspective changed.
“For Brother Lawrence, “common business,” no matter how mundane or routine, could be a medium of God’s love. The sacredness or worldly status of a task mattered less than the motivation behind it. Brother Lawrence states “Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do….We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.” The Practice of the Presence of God” Brother Lawrence
Brother Lawrence is a great example of how to live for God through our unpleasant work environment and love it.
Questions to think about:
-Do you view your work negatively?
-Do you believe the Holy Spirit can change your perspective on work?
-Do you feel the closeness of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis?