#519: Enjoying Our Work

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Reflections by the Pond
October 3, 2011

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.

Psalms 100:1-2

Enjoying Our Work

"The food's coming. He just takes his time with it," was my friend's reassuring answer to my repeated glances over his shoulder towards the kitchen of the small sandwich shop.

"That's not it," I replied. "I just enjoy watching someone who loves his work."

° ° °

Linda and I were sharing lunch with our friends at a restaurant of their choosing—a recently opened Italian bistro. There was very little remarkable about the location or the interior of the shop—just another storefront in a strip mall. But it was clear from the beginning that the proprietor enjoyed what he was doing.

Earlier, while making our selections from the menu, he had been only too pleased to describe in loving detail the ingredients and preparation of each sandwich being offered. And it was soon obvious that this was not just another Subway type sandwich mill of disinterested employees grinding out pre-measured dollops of toppings to be quickly zapped in the microwave. Here the owner himself crafted each entrée then slid it into his pizza oven for a proper warming through and melting of cheese. And he repeatedly checked on our lunch, opening the oven door, poking and prodding, testing until each was just right.

During our meal he periodically checked with us to make sure the sandwiches met with our expectations, and we assured him that indeed they surpassed expectations. And after we consumed the savory repast, the proprietor cheerfully satisfied himself that we were pleased with his fare. It was clear to us that part of the satisfaction and pleasure he experienced in his work was the knowledge that his customers, too, were satisfied and pleased.

And it struck me what a difference this attitude would make were it more regularly exhibited in the work of God's kingdom.

° ° °

The entirety of a believer's life is to be an offering of praise and devotion to the One who gave him that life.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Romans 12:1

That "sacrifice," however, is not to be offered grudgingly, but with unfettered joy, filled with and energized by the Spirit from above.

No matter what we do, no matter the occupation or avocation, whether it be labeled a "ministry" or a hobby, we are to do it with and for the sheer love of the Savior. We are to enjoy our work. We are to revel in the opportunity to serve the Lord in any capacity, with whole heart and generous spirit.

...always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:15b-18