I’ve been playing with the word work this week. Often, when the word work is mentioned, I cringe a little. Work and paycheck have always gone hand in hand for me. Because I don’t work in the traditional sense (40-hrs/week in a building away from home with paid income); I haven’t considered what I do as work. Many times, when the topic of work arises with others who receive a paycheck, I stutter with a meek response as to what I “do” all day. Yet, when I hear others share about their salaried work, it’s rare their response is filled with excited passion. More often, a groaning sound ensues. A resigned sigh as to how a majority of time is spent. Neither way seems very healthy.
So, I’ve been swirling this word work around, holding hands with it and wondering how to befriend it in a new way. As I’ve been hanging out with work, I’ve started to see its potential.
In the first book of Genesis, we see God creating: Light. Sky. Earth. Water. Plants. Animals. People. God proclaims this GOOD. On the 7th day, he rested from his “creating”. God’s “work” is creating. Speaking life. Breathing beauty. Making potential out of dust. Fashioning good. Is our work, in actuality, how we create in the world?
By no means do I believe creating has to do solely with art. Let’s face it, we all create every day. Our spoken words build up or knock down. Our thoughts lead us to grow or to wilt. Our hands aid us to spread compassionate action through cleaning, planting, typing, researching, sharing, serving, kneading, blessing, holding. The fact is, when we create for good, we are growing, learning and engaging. We are alive. We are doing what God created us for.
This idea of work inspires me. This idea of work helps me embrace the fact that, indeed, I work. And, I have incredibly important work to do. We all do.
These days, I’m asking myself, “What am I currently creating for the good of God’s kingdom? How am I using the dust of life as potential for something new?” Whether we work for a paycheck or not, the good work we do, the creating we live, is necessary. It’s sacred.
Work, for too long, has been associated with a paycheck and drudgery. It’s time to redefine work as potential to create good in God’s earthly kingdom. Amen.
“God looked over everything he had made;
it was so good, so very good!
It was evening, it was morning—
Genesis 1:31 MSG
At the end of the day, take a few minutes to reflect on your entire day. Look for the things you’ve ‘made’ in word, thought and action. Notice your self-talk. Are you able to see your healthy contributions as ‘so good, so very good’? Offer a prayer of gratitude for God’s helping hand in this goodness.
Name your work and share how the work you do creates good in the world.
If you are looking for something soulful to read, I’ve added a few current reads to my list, over here!