Another way to look at work

Blessings be to those who are out of employment at this pandemical moment…

I want to say that there is a difference between employment (self-employment counts as employment too) and work.

Employment comes and goes. But work, we’re always doing.

Of course, our employment falls under the category of ‘work’. But work is also calling a friend. It’s writing that novel or that blog post (I’m working right now). It’s helping your kid log onto Zoom for a school project (again). It’s washing the dishes. It’s planning a family picnic. It’s physical distancing at the grocery store. It’s reading scripture.

Every time your mind and/or body is moving, you’re working. Tonight, I want to share another way to look at work.

I invite you to not see work as something we do to prove our merit, like for a boss. This is what we do in the secular world, automatically. Humans need merit. We need each other’s service. We ask a lot of each other and we ask a lot of ourselves.

When we work from this place, sure, we may get a lot done. But it’s exhausting. It doesn’t take long for the soul to crumble under such weight (some of us can stand more of this merit-based work than others). 

However, I invite you to look at work from a place of faith. To see work as something that’s given to us - that takes place through us - from a divine source. 

In merit-based work, the work originates from us. We are the first-movers of this work. We justify ourselves in opposition to others through this work. It may feel like a juicy steak to the ego for a while, but as I said above, it leads to bitterness and burnout. 

Going back to faith-based work, in Christ, the action is reversed. God is the first mover and God’s work is a done deal. It is finished. It’s a given. Ontologically, there’s nothing left to do.

However, God still gives us work to do because this is how God plays. If you don’t take up the task, it’s fine. God loves all of creation full-stop. God will just go to someone else to pick up the task. Not because God doesn’t like you anymore but because God just wants to see this thing expressed in the world. 

In this way, work is a divine gift. It’s something we have the privilege to do, not something we have the obligation to do. 

We have nothing to prove. 
In Christ, everything has been proven. 
Now we can enjoy the fruits of that finished work
and be free to love and serve the world. 

Amen.

Grace & Godspeed,
Jonas