Monday, September 6, 2010

Our Labor

Matthew 7:12 (The Message)
12"Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God's Law and Prophets and this is what you get.

Today is Labor Day. My reward? I'm working - but not until later this afternoon. Because of my working; a co-worker is able to travel home and spend the long weekend with family. How could I say 'no'? I have to set an example; for my family and for those I work for and with. If I want others to treat me with favor - it is only right and fair that I do the same.

I saw Anderson Cooper (of CNN) give an interview recently, and in it he responded to a question regarding the best advice his mother (Gloria Vanderbilt) ever gave him. He said that she advised him to follow his bliss and the money would come. He had a dream to be a reporter and he now anchors each weeknight with his own news show. My 'bliss', what I gain satisfaction from; is knowing that each day I work with the girls in their home I am called to be a role model. I am called to teach; to be an example. If I don't treat others with respect or equality, I not only let myself and God down - I let the girls down. If I don't treat others with respect or equality I have let an opportunity for them to grow and learn slip away. An opportunity that may not come to pass again. So, today I will labor. I will go and take advantage of the day to teach them something. What? I don't know - but I do know that if I go grudgingly they will know it. So, I will go with a good attitude and make the most of the day.

I don’t know what your 'bliss' might be, but I urge you to find a calling in life and attach it to your work. Whether you have a job and wish you didn’t, or don’t have one and wish you did, or if you wish you had different people to work with or report to, the dailyness of your workplace can become a mental drag if you don’t choose to see it as a place of purpose and mission.

Be true to what you believe your purpose is.

Colossians 3:22-25 {(The Message)I have fallen in love with The Message}
Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work.

I like that last verse: 'Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work.' If I go with malice or with resentment in my heart today - I will have bad work and a bad day. Just because I am a follower of Jesus doesn't give me the right to do bad work; indeed it only gives me the responsibility to serve with a gracious heart. I chose to work today. But whether I had or not - I will work with a positive attitude because my work is my bliss. I really do enjoy what I do. Therein lies the definition of 'bliss'.