Drudgery into Worship

We’re back to work here at Prison Fellowship after a nice, long break. The rest was much needed by all of us, I’m sure. As I pulled up to my desk this morning, I was glad for the sticky notes I have taped on my monitor which remind me what I’m about. One says simply, “I am here to serve with joy.” The other says, “Christians have a duty to develop and use whatever gifts they may have without worrying what the future may bring.”

I find it’s so easy to slip into the worldly mentality of work as drudgery. Sure, work can be drudgery at times. But work is also a gift. It is a gift I have been given and it is a gift I get to give back to the Lord. I pray that as you find yourselves back at your respective callings this week, you will fight the worldly impulse to despise work, but instead will turn every act, no matter how small, into an opportunity to serve God and worship Him through the work of your hands—no matter how seemingly “secular” the work is that you find yourself called to do. Apart from that which is inherently sinful, there is no task, no matter how seemingly insignificant or rote, that cannot be transformed into worship when the heart is inclined to give that act unto God as a spiritual act of worship. I’m praying we’ll have that mindset today and in the days to come in 2010.


Thanks also for the great thought re: work. Something to aim for as I care for the house, kids, work, friend who are sick, etc. Found online a quote from Dr. Martin Luthur King on work... "And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. don't just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn't do it any better. If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well...."
What a wonderful wake up call to the New Year. I often struggle with trying to maintain a servant attitude forgetting the very simple admonition that we are "to serve with joy". Like David, I too have a workplace prayer but until yesterday it was tucked safely and securely in the back of my daytimer. Shame on me. May you all have a blessed and joyous New Year in His grace.
Thanks for the encouragement Catherine (I needed it). And thanks too David, for that prayer. I definitely struggle some days with seeing my work as edifying or 'eternally significant'. Why do I resist asking God to open my eyes and heart and hands - especially in those times? Thank you friends, for sharing your clear eyes, your big hearts and your helpful hands.
Thanks for the welcome back, Lee. You are always so kind. And thanks for the prayer, David. What a good one!
Welcome back, Catherine! I delight in your return, joyously anticipate your contributions, and hope all is well. And FYI, if you'd ever like to exchange drudgery for excitement, I'd happily switch jobs with you for a bit; how are you at debugging network performance problems in virtual machines while presenting a software class to a live audience via VoIP as time is running out? // P.S.: "the sticky notes I have taped on my monitor" is hilarious; in the olden days we used to have notepads that didn't stick to anything unless you used tape, but now we have notes that only stick for a while unless you add tape. Slow progress toward notes that actually stick for as long as you want. Thanks for the laugh!
May I offer a prayer I found that speaks to this so well. It is taped to my wall, next to my desk at work. // Workday Prayer // Lord Jesus, as I enter this workplace, I bring Your presence with me. I speak Your peace, Your grace, and Your perfect order into the atmosphere of this office. I acknowledge Your Lordship over all that will be spoken, thought, decided and accomplished within these walls. Lord Jesus, I thank You for the gifts You have placed in me. I do not take them lightly, but commit to using them responsibly and well. Grant me a fresh supply of truth and beauty on which to draw as I do my job. Anoint my creativity, my ideas, my energy so that even my smallest task may bring You honor. Lord, when I am confused, guide me. When I am weary, energize me. Lord, when I am burned out, infuse me with the light of Your Holy Spirit. May the work that I do and the way I do it, bring hope, life, and courage to all that I come in contact with today.

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