Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Love Hard Work… I Could Watch it All Day

I come from a long line of hard working people. Raised in the shadow of steel-mill smokestacks that line the shores of Lake Michigan in Northwest Indiana, I grew up around people who had the leathered hands that built our country. As a school kid, my favorite field trips weren’t to the great museums an hour away in Chicago, they were to the places where work was done. I saw them make steel, and cars, and nuclear energy, and even hamburger. As soon as I was old enough to contribute (before it was exactly legal) I went to work with my dad… which led to some of the hardest and dirtiest work I’ve ever done.

To this day, I love it when I get invited to someone’s workplace, whether that is an office, or a plant, or a jobsite. I have always found it easiest to get to know someone when I could get to know them in the context of their work. Invite me to work; I’ll be there!
When I was coming to faith while in college, and as a new believer, I remember being attracted to the work portrayed in my church. It seemed like a church that respected the work of the people, and it called people to join the good work of the church. It wasn’t a piety that merely separated sacred work from secular work; it was a faith that integrated work life, family life, and spiritual life.

Now as one who has been at this for a while, I’ve found that my respect for work fits well in Christianity. We don’t work to somehow earn God’s favor (of course); we worship with our work. We fulfill our designed and divine purpose by doing good work, whatever that may be, for the glory of our Creator.
In the work that I do as a pastor, I want to do a better job of helping people connect their work to God’s work; I can do a better job of helping people see their work as a demonstration of God’s grace and as part of God’s plan.  

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