What About Work?
This was a great article I ran across today from my favorite web-sites, Q. I love this web-site, the brain trust of researcher and writer, Gabe Lyons. He is the author of the book, “Next Christians”, a favorite work of mine. The site touches my heart because it challenges our traditional conceptions of what Christianity should look like, and this article was no exception.
As my followers know I have gone through some years where I have been in the process of re-inventing myself and seeking to find my purpose. I have spent a good deal of time looking at my passions and my gifts attempting to identify where I would find the most fulfillment and success in the world. Despite a shiny new Master’s Degree and well-defined goals I have found myself hitting the wall of rejection since graduating a year ago. I can’t help but continually run Steinbeck’s line in my head, “The best laid plans of mice and men do often go astray.”
Then in April, something happened. I got angry! Not that kind of irrational, lay myself on the floor to kick and scream, anger of a three year old throwing a tantrum. It was a grown up, this crap stops now, kind of anger, where in my mind and heart, I drew a line. I found my boundaries and I had reached them. I was a child of the most high God and I knew he had a plan for my life, and what I was looking at wasn’t it.
Somehow we get the idea that work is the enemy, but as this author pointed out, not having work can be a greater enemy, and I was frankly sick to death of contemplating the status of my belly button lint. Everything I had tried had failed and I was trapped in a cycle of continually self-evaluating. What was wrong with me? Why didn’t the world want me? Why couldn’t I find my place in the world? Blah, blah, wah, wah! YUK!
After two days of kicking myself in my own butt for being, dare I say it, nauseatingly obtuse about myself, I got up with one idea in my head. Sitting down at the laptop I opened a word document and started writing. I knew I had lessons to teach, words to speak, and needed a platform. I knew I had a story to tell and the one thing I knew I could categorically, and irrevocably do, was write. On April 3rd, I started a Novel.
The words of this article rang so true to me. We view Eden as being like Key West. It is a place of vacation, sunshine, on going fun, surrounded by tropical trade winds and delicious food. However, God made Adam caretaker of that garden and all that was in it. God knew that meaningful labor was good for men’s souls. I have learned the value of meaningful labor.
Everyday, I write, I edit, then I write some more. At no time has it felt like “work.” There are moments when I struggle with a particular chapter, or fight through some research I’m needing to do. There have been trips to the library, where I always find what it is that I’m looking for, surrounded by what I love – books, books and more books. The smell of old paper filling my spirit as well as my nostrils rejuvenating my spirit. Inspiration comes again and I write. It has been a joyful and rewarding process, which I am almost done with. I am filling in the last few chapters but a week or so ago, I wrote the rough draft of the last chapter. It was somewhat bitter sweet to see the end of the story and the end of these characters which I have captured my mind and consumed my labor.
The secret to work is find joy in it. Someone said, maybe Confucious, “Work at what you love and never will you feel as if you’re working.” Pray with me, my friends, over these next few months that God leads in the editing and publication of this book. I firmly believe my future and my hope rests in this work of my hands.
Oh, by the way, I got inspired last week on a second novel and roughed out the first chapter and an outline. It’s so nice to feel inspired again. Been waiting for that for a long time.