the value of everyday work

I am glad to work for Our Daily Bread Ministries, whose stated mission is “to make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all.” I have my own part in that, in the factory end of things,  in our making thousands and thousands of booklets to be sent. Of course in doing so, I’m making a living. I like the fact that my job is active, that I’m on my feet, though often at the end of the day I am ready to rest.

I have found work itself to be therapeutic. If I live to see “retirement,” I really don’t want to retire. It would be all too easy for me to sit down and read at least half the time (or more) which in itself wouldn’t be bad in my thinking. But I would want an existence where I would be on my feet and moving, perhaps even while reading. I am thinking of the physical part. Ecclesiastes even in the context of the meaningless of toil seems to refer to much more than that in a valuation of work:

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

Of course I want to do the best I can as to the Lord and out of love for the Lord and my “neighbor.” I do find work to be a pleasant diversion, which while packed with pressure all its own, inherent in the nature of working with machines and people like myself (ha)- which actually isn’t all that bad, but the machines can be – gives me a healthy preoccupation away from some of the other pressures of life. It is all too easy for me to kick up my heels and relax when I get home, but “owning” a house and having bills along with the inevitable family matters keeps one in prayer and trying to manage well- I have a good wife to help me in that.

And so I’m thankful for work, to keep me out of trouble so to speak. Something to do to provide for my own and to do good to others. And that in itself is a healthy diversion from the real and imagined problems of life. Of course all of this more and more hopefully done in prayer.


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