Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Goodness of Work

Post by
Michelle Dowell, Contributor

A few years ago a woman told me that her number one dream in life is to be wealthy enough to never have to cook again. She'd hire people to cook for her. I could see by the way she said it that she truly meant it.

I was a little surprised. Up until then I hadn't heard that as a dream before. A dream to do less. It wasn't to accomplish something, like dreams usually are, but to be allowed to not do something.

My guess is it's work in general that she'd love to get away from. I bet a lot of people dream of being on vacation forever if they could. But I often wonder if they were able to do that, that they wouldn't be as happy as they imagined.

It's fun to take some days or a week off sometimes, and that is needed—to refresh and relax at times—but to take months or years off might end up feeling a lot more boring, lonely, and unfulfilling than first imagined. Humans were created to interact with each other and help each other and to do things for God's glory. Work is one place where this happens. (And by work I mean all types—not just the type we're paid for, but also the work at home like laundry and helping a friend move.)

When we work, which includes doing something for someone else or ourselves, it often gives us a sense of meaning or fulfillment. In Genesis we see that work was there before the Fall, meaning that work is good, and it's the Fall that has caused it to be more difficult.

It's okay to acknowledge that work is difficult at times. For example, machines break and unplanned delays happen. But it's important to acknowledge work's beneficial role in our life too. There's a meaning and purpose behind it. It allows us to reach out and change things for the better in some way.
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