Returning to Work

by | Jul 27, 2009 | 2009, Musings | 0 comments

July 27, 2009

Returning to Work

It is Sunday night and I am returning to work tomorrow after a wonderful three week vacation. I sailed the Inland Passage in southwestern Alaska and visited British Columbia. I delighted in breaching whales, soaring eagles, a bear eating posies and multicolored glaciers. But mostly, I sat with binoculars in my lap, a great book in my hands and rested.

The term for this kind of cessation of work is often called “recreation.” It is the basic idea of “re-creating” ourselves with an eye on the restorative properties of rest. And by God’s wonderful grace, I did a whole lot of resting! But tomorrow, I go back to work.

I have been mulling the term, “work” over in my mind for a few days. I have been trying to decide if I am quietly excited about rejoining those gainfully employed, or sad that my days of naps, snacks and endless reading are over.

I am certainly not the first person to give serious thought to the philosophy of WORK. There is an organization called “CLAWS” that is filled with men and women who are devoted to creating livable alternatives to what they call the wage slavery. Bertrand Russell wrote an interesting essay in 1931 called “In Praise of Idleness” in which he assaults the nobility of work. Still others seem to frame the discussion about the merits of work by highlighting it as the pursuit of success and laziness as the acceptance of failure.

And then I came across a note I had written last fall about a passage of scripture in Leviticus. In chapter 23, the Lord is giving Moses instructions about how to honor the Day of Atonement. In verses 31-32, the Lord says, “You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. It is a Sabbath of rest for you and you MUST DENY YOURSELVES (work)…”

Wow…if God expressed work as something that must be denied, He must view work as something that has intrinsic value. In this passage, work is seen as so good and so meaningful that He has to tell the Israelites to deny themselves the “joy” of labor. They are to put off something they honored and appreciated in order to properly worship the Lord on this high Day of Atonement.

Once I reread those words, I changed my thinking. Truthfully, I love my work and consider it an amazing gift to be able to serve the Lord at Stoneybrooke Christian Schools. Although, you and I may not have the same list of responsibilities, my job is not that different from everyone else’s job. We all have joys and victories. We all have challenges and deadlines. We all work with amazing people and with a few who challenge us. We all have successes and we all fail every now and again. But I am convinced that work is a good thing.

So, I have posted all my cool pictures on my computer, cleaned out my back pack, transferred my notebooks back into my briefcase, and updated my PDA. I am ready to go back to work!

Can you hear me humming? “High ho, high ho, it’s off to work we go….”

Warmest Regards in Christ,

Sherry L. Worel


Submit a Comment


 2020  2019  2018  2017  2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008