In the Beginning Was Work

If you interviewed any of my employees or colleagues, they would tell you that I love work. I love the nature or it, the sense of it, the feel of it.  I love sinking my teeth into something hard and then creatively devising a plan that problem-solves the challenge and creates something better. A real estate deal is the perfect example of this, which is probably why I ended up in this industry. It’s the idea that you can see your effort, your drive, your ambition, and wealth generation in something tangible. Not only do you benefit from it, you can create something to benefit others.

I believe God is behind all of this and has been from the very beginning. You see, God works. In the very first chapter of the Bible, God illustrates the merits of work. In Genesis, as a master craftsman, God creates the heavens and the earth and then sets to creating all living things. He creates man and woman to “work and keep” the garden. He sees that his creation is good, admires his workmanship, and then rests on the seventh day. Work is at the very center of our inception.

The reason we’re talking about work throughout the summer (of all times), is because work is as essential to humans as food and air. In the book “Every Good Endeavor,”  Timothy Keller puts it this way, “Work is so foundational to our makeup that it is one of the few things we can take in significant doses without harm. Indeed, the Bible does not say we should work one day and rest six or that work and rest should be balanced evenly but directs us to the opposite ratio. Leisure and pleasure are great goods, but we can take only so much of them.”

You can see this in people who are no longer able to work. Either from age, infirmity, or accident, when humans cannot work, they express regret over having nothing to do. They have too much leisure and not enough purpose-driven activity and this sudden lopsided, unnatural lifestyle hurts rather than heals.

Work is not just a means to an end. It’s not just because we need to “make a living,” but that we need to make a life worth living. Work does this. It allows us the ability to be useful to one another, and it’s a means to discover who we are, what we’re good at, and our distinct God-given abilities and talents.

But, if this is all true, then why do most people look at work as frustrating and exhausting. Why do many of us try to avoid it or simply endure it? Although work is sewn into the very fabric of our beings, like all good things, we often rebel against… or perhaps we simply have not found the right calling or vocation.

If this is how you are feeling, I want to prove, over the next few months, that work can be a “freeing.” I pray that if we understand God’s calling for us to work, and we change our vision of labor, each one of us can use our careers to further God’s aims for ourselves and others.

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