It is okay to find joy in our labor.
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I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work.
Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.
Ecclessiastes 2:24 New Living Translation
The honey bees were oblivious to the drought that has seized Oregon when I took this picture. As I walked along the path of my old stomping grounds in Eugene, gazing at the nearly empty ponds, I noticed that many bees were busy doing what they always do; collecting pollen. Were they unaware of the drought? Were they worried about the future?
These bees (and there were many of them) were doing what God designed them to do even though the land was thirsting for water. This bee has its head buried in its work. Though there’s a small amount of pollen visible on its legs, other bees were so laden with pollen that they could hardly fly. It looked as though they were enjoying their labor.
How many of us would say with the Preacher in Ecclesiastes that work is a “pleasure”? We’re told to live for the weekend, but is the weekend everything we expect it to be? We fight horrible traffic trying to get to our weekend destination only to find ourselves more upset with life than the worst day of work. Is this what we expect of the weekend? Is this what we live for?
Don’t get me wrong. I know that we need re-creation time. I know that we shouldn’t spend every hour of every day burying our heads in our work, but can we view work as a pleasure “from the hand of God”?
Since Christ has redeemed us, he has also redeemed our labor. Maybe we shouldn’t take pleasure in work itself, but knowing that God is at work through us, his redeemed creatures, while we work. Whether we’re a stay-at-home parent, construction worker, or a volunteer at a food pantry there is pleasure in our work when we believe that God has redeemed that work.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO