Work can be tough, especially manual labor. I’ve done everything from plumbing installations to landscaping, construction, roofing, concrete work, ditch digging, and everything in-between. Some jobs are easier than others, but physical labor is tough work.
Mental work can be tough, too. None of my work with Keynote Content involves physical labor, but the mental and emotional strain of being an entrepreneur sometimes leaves me as drained as when I worked manual labor. Between communicating concepts, developing strategies, and writing content, the mental work can be exhausting at times.
We get to days like Labor Day today and think, “Thank God I don’t have to work. Work is a pain.” Here’s the truth about work…
Work is a gift.
Wind the clock all the way back to Eden and God called Adam to work the ground and take care of creation before Adam and Eve sinned. Work isn’t an effect of sin. The toil and strain of work is part of the effect of sin. Work is an opportunity to create, to build, to develop, and to refine. Work is our chance to imitate our Creator through our own mini-creations.
Too often we can fall into the trap of rejecting hard work altogether, trying to take the easy way out. I’m all about working smarter to ease the workload, if it means the job still gets done the right way. Cutting corners is lazy and cheapens the gift of work. Doing work the best way possible builds character, so yes, your dad was right when he said mowing the lawn the right way builds character. I mowed my lawn last night and it looks awesome.
People are judged on their paychecks, not rightly judged, but judged nonetheless. Your work is not defined by your paycheck, an important lesson I learned over seven years being on church staff and almost one year as an entrepreneur. Your life is defined by the quality of your work, whether it’s lucrative or not, and by how you respond to the opportunities to work hard at creating something significant. Building a strong marriage takes hard work. Raising great adults, not grown kids, takes hard work. Being kind and compassionate and honest and generous takes hard work. Life is hard work.
So, as you relax and barbecue, take a float trip, go hiking, whatever you’re doing today, remember this is a time to celebrate the work God’s given to you. Your work is a gift from God to reflect your potential in His eyes. He wants you to do something significant with your life’s work.
Today might be a great day to rethink your approach to work. Happy Labor Day.