Sometimes it’s really hard to get out of bed and get motivated to get moving because we’re not looking forward to heading into the office, factory, construction site or wherever your skills are utilized. For some, work is a dirty four letter word and aside from providing us an income to support ourselves with, many of us dream about what we might do if we didn’t have to earn money.
The first part of the Bible shows that God was working and that he had to give Himself time to rest. While I personally interpret the ‘rest’ as not necessarily a fatigue that God felt, but more a time to stop, observe and appreciate the fruits of His labor. For us, we do need the rest since our mortal bodies can only handle so much. God didn’t get paid to work. He just did. What else was He going to do with Himself? Sit around and talk philosophy with the angels? He already knows the answers to every question anyone could pose!
The title says we were built for work and some will say “but I can’t work, I’m disabled!”. You can think, therefore there is ALWAYS something you are built for. It may not necessarily be what you might have dreamed to be, but there is ALWAYS something to do and if it’s with God’s purpose, you will be fulfilled. If it’s not, the idea is to work toward something that is fulfilling to you and works with God.
Whether you have an able body, or a less able body, you still have a physical body and you have a mind. When all is said and done, the question is whether your mind is able.
In the words of the 80’s band, The Police, “We are Spirits in the Material World”.
We have a purpose for God, first. Our body is second.
Work gives us structure to our day. And just as God worked, we are meant to work (in some capacity). Whether it’s raising a child (that is work), tending to the home life (that is also work), working for an employer (that is work), volunteering at an organization (that is work). Work isn’t necessarily something to dread, but it’s something that adds routine, works our minds, bodies, or both and hopefully provides enough means to live (with cost of living rising globally many people aren’t seeing this at this present time).
Too often there are many people who simply wither up and die shortly after retirement. Naturally, there are those whose bodies beg for retirement as they are physically worn out and I’m not talking about this second group. There are some who cannot create meaningful structure in life after employment and they literally lose their sense of purpose and basically go home to wait to die. While they long to be free of the shackles of work, when they get that ‘freedom’, they miss the camaraderie at work, they miss the routine, being needed, or even the money.
For some who cannot work because of disability (whether it a physical or mental ailment), it’s important to find something you can do, even if it’s not traditional work. Why? Because you were designed to work and if it’s the right kind of work, it will help your mood. As a genealogist I’ve come across many people who cannot work in a traditional sense, are in fact wheel chair bound, but they have made it their purpose to investigate and discover their family history and also help others with theirs. This may not seem to be that ‘purposeful’ in the grand scheme of things, but they are using their brains, working that muscle and not only applying meaning to their life, but to others when the day comes someone else comes looking. Imagine if you were to apply the same investigative skills to say the field of Apologetics? That would most certainly be God’s work and very meaningful!
Whatever you do with your days, you are meant to work. If the job you have is one of those “Just Over Broke” jobs, ask God for a new direction and ask Him for some help to get you into the role that matches your abilities, serves Him and leaves you feeling more ‘sustained’ and happy about what you do. Unless God is directing you to, you are never encouraged to stay in a job that makes you completely and utterly miserable in so much that you contemplate the nearest lamp post with your vehicle in a means to escape the daily endurance. Life is about God, not mere drudgery. Seek His will. He does care about you and He does care about the work you do. So, if you’re not happy, ask Him to open a new doorway (it may require you asking for some more guidance on perhaps changing your learned direction in life).
I write this all as a reflection on working the 60 hour weeks I’ve started to undertake due to a job loss in the family and acknowledge that while things could have been far different and life became suddenly quite difficult, the fact that I could get more hours and be well compensated for those additional hours, affords my family the ability to maintain their home and family. The Lord truly is my shepherd and I am not left wanting. He has provided me the options and opportunities and it is up to me to take them or dismiss them.