Theme of the Week: Don’t Just Exist
Bible Verse: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:22-24
Have you ever been at a vocational crossroads? Burnout forced me to leave pastoral ministry. Near the end, I dreaded every day. Despite that, my resignation nearly broke me. Following God’s call into ministry, I thought it was my last job, that I would pastor until retirement.
I quit with no job lined up. Needing to support my stay-at-home wife and three young children, I was willing to do anything. I dusted off my business degree and applied for a position at Impactus (it was known as Promise Keepers Canada then), where I am today after 14 happy years.
The Lord gave me a soft landing. I recall the early days fondly, sitting outside for lunch and thanking God profusely. I had supportive bosses and colleagues; the work was engaging and rewarding; I developed new business skills. Every new workday God gave me was something to look forward to. I felt reborn!
The Lord offered Adam work in the Garden. Genesis 2:15 says that God entrusted Adam with the work of the Garden, “to work it and take care of it.” It’s good to note that the work came before the Fall described in chapter 3. Work is a gift from God, not a curse.
Adam likely found satisfaction in using his muscles to till the ground, rejoicing when he gathered his bounty, knowing he played a part in the process, fulfilling his God-given task. I can imagine Adam lying down to sleep, tired but content after a good day’s work.
Sin unfortunately, has marred everything. As I felt compelled to abandon my last occupation, you too may feel the need to move on. You may even flat out hate your job. Or, maybe your job is tolerable, and you just need to appreciate the positives of your work?
No job or workspace is perfect. It’s easy to find the fault in our jobs or coworkers. Instead of focussing on everything you wish was different or better, what if you were content that you have a job in a tough economy? What if you thought about Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”?
Prayer: Lord, help me to work my “garden” today and to take care of it, despite the thorns and thistles. May I work as if I was working for you.
Reflection: Wherever this finds you, what can you focus on so that your job isn’t the proverbial daily grind, where you simply exist for 8-12 hours? How can you view your labor as a blessing and not a curse from God?
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