Is Work Work, or a Joy?
Wow, what a great weekend we just had! A neighbor invited us, and another couple, out to their ranch for the weekend. We got to shoot stuff, trap stuff, drive stuff, blow-up stuff, fill stuff, catch stuff, burn stuff, cut stuff, eat stuff, watch stuff, enjoy stuff, haul stuff, check stuff, hook stuff, and release stuff! That is a lot of stuff!!
Then, on Sunday morning, I asked my neighbor the fateful question: “How much of your time here is spent working versus playing?” He replied, “About 80% working.” Ouch! I then asked myself if it was worth it – if most of my time was spent working and not enjoying the ranch, would it be worth it? If I am going to commit a large chunk of my life to something, I would have to know that it was worth it.
As always happens, my mind wandered off to the stewardship implications of our ranch weekend. If I am to be a good steward of my time, then what I do needs to count for eternity, and not just for my own interests. For example, I can spend a lot of time practicing golf in a quest to get better. But what would it get me? Maybe being able to shoot 78 rather than 88? Is that eternally significant? I would also like to have a nicely landscaped yard. I can spend hours planting, trimming, weeding, mulching, etc., but what would it get me? My dog would just tear up everything I had done. Eternally significant? Nope!
Back to my friends and our ranch weekend. As we got to know them better, and their heart for their ranch, I discovered that the ranch was a labor of love for them. Not only have they made some great memories for their family, they have blessed many a friend through weekends like we got to experience.
I learned a lot that weekend. Much of it was fun, but it had an eternal impact on me as it reinforced the thinking through of how I spend my time.
So, how do we evaluate the use of our time – especially for the activities that take a large portion of our time? Ask yourself if what you are doing is eternally significant. If the answer is no, ask yourself how you can make it eternally significant. For me, my job as a financial adviser can be all about success in the world’s system. Or, I can talk to my clients about being good stewards and being successful in God’s system. What about you?
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Colossians 3:23-24