Lesson 2 - Work is Good

Work and Spirituality

Work is anointed by God and an important aspect of our spiritual life. Although we often view work and spirituality as separate aspects of life, the two are inseparable.

Work is the primary context for our spirituality. Most children's play is practice for adult work. We play our way into adult work; our games are apprenticeships. The spiritual life begins—seriously begins—when we get a job and go to work. Work is our Spirit-anointed participation in God's work.

Eugene Peterson, Leap Over a Wall

Do you view your work as anointed by God and as central to your spirituality? What would change if you viewed your work this way?

Vocationalized

We often expect some kind of inner, spiritual certainty—some confident and clear “call”—to what we are supposed to do with our lives and our work. When this doesn’t happen, we wonder why we have not yet discovered our vocation, especially when it seems like so many others around us have happily found  their own.

There is neither a quick nor a guaranteed furmula to discover that for which we were uniquely created. Responding to this frustration of discovering your calling, Eugene makes a profound statement:

There is no human work that is not capable of being vocationalized.

Eugene Peterson

The work in front of us is a gift from the hand of God. Rather than continually search for personal fulfillment, we can use our vocations to develop our faculties and serve our neighbor.  We can do such work well, with great love, even if it isn't our ideal job. 

This will lead us to a deeper sort of fulfillment—the fulfillment of having tasted and touched a profound holiness of our work.

The Butcher

Eugene learned about the dignity of work through his father. 

Most Christians throughout history have found themselves in less-than-ideal  vocational situations. But rather than seeing this as a shortcoming, we should view it as a profound hope!

Satisfaction in our work comes from the hand of God, as the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us:

24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 NIV

Discovering Vocation

Each of us must develop a sense of how we’ve been called and equipped, and that takes place over time. Take a moment to consider what your aptitudes are and how you can begin to make a concrete and gift-specific impact on the world.

What has God made you to do “24 hours a day?" What are you gifted at and feels natural when you are doing it?

Does this align with your current line of work?

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