Work: Part 1

I meet with people most days. We meet, they talk, I hear things.

I read a lot. They write, I read, and learn things.

Most people I meet are in some way wrestling to find purpose or meaning in what they do, even atheists (which kind of doesn’t make sense). That’s why I thoroughly enjoy John Mark Comer’s book – ‘Garden City’. It’s a refreshing and updated approach to answering questions like: “What am I made for?”

‘If you could do anything, what would you do?’

This is a question JMC loves to ask people. Dave, a used-to-be Navy seal, working for the family business, could hardly get up in the morning (tangled up in depression). He answered this question. Dave became a police officer and now gets up before his alarm goes off (untangled). How could a change of job change Dave’s life so much?

‘What we do is central to our humanness’ – JMC

What we do and who we are, are interconnected. What we do is like a voice to who we are. We spend more time doing (studying or working) than anything else. We spend a lot of time sleeping, and then share the rest of our time eating, playing, watching, exercising, meditating, shopping, and sometimes brushing our teeth etc. So when our doing and being are not closely connected we naturally feel an uneasy lostness. This can be manifest as depression, the sole pursuit of pleasure, or some other inordinate self-destroying unsatisfying unreality.

It’s important to see that work, what we do, is part of being human. Work is good. Jesus, the perfect human worked as a carpenter for about two decades before becoming a teacher. The introduction of Sin in Gods perfect creation didn’t bring with it work, rather it distorted what work is. Gods perfect plan includes work. So when someone becomes a disciple of Jesus, their work becomes more meaningful than ever. We live, in part, to work. Work demonstrates who we are.

Unemployment can be demoralising and depressing for people.

The wrong job can be depressing for people.

Elderly and handicapped people desperately want to contribute to society.

‘Because when we stop working, we lose part of who we are.’ – JMC

Stop and take some time to answer this question:

‘If you could do anything, what would you do?’

Write it/them down before you read the next part.

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