Love and Hate
I have this relationship. It’s one of those relationships they describe as love/hate. Sometimes I’m absolutely in complete and total love with her. Other times I can’t stand the thought of her – the literal thought of her makes me sick.
There are times, though, when I’ve been with her, and I know it’s – with out a shadow of a doubt – right. I feel…well, it’s hard to describe, but I bet you know the feeling. It’s a feeling of satisfaction or completeness or worth.
So, I know you’re wondering. What’s the relationship? Who is “her”?
I’m not talking about my job, but anything which requires effort, action, movement, thought – something beyond pure entertainment. I’m talking about writing this blog post, doing the laundry, taking the dog for a walk, coaching my son’s basketball team, making a t-shirt, exercising. All of those can be work – something you really don’t want to do, but something you know you should do.
And the kicker is, after you’ve done it, you have a sense of worth, accomplishment or satisfaction. Even if it’s a small dose – you know it’s right.
Doing things Different & finding Dignity
I began thinking about this idea of work and worth while reading an article in the Kansas City Star. It outlined a new program in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They’ve had a rampant problem with the homeless, and how they’ve been treated by the police.
The old plan in essence was harassing, rounding up and throwing the homeless in jail for a few days. It didn’t solve the problem. In fact, it made the problem worse. A report by the Justice Department cited years of abuse by police officers to this demographic. It came to a head with the fatal shooting of a homeless man in 2014.
The new solution is again rounding up the homeless…to work. They clean streets, empty lots and more. They are paid $9 an hour…each day…in cash. Some are upfront about working to buy their next fix. Others dream about a real job or a place to live. This is different.
Albuquerque knows it’s different and unique and a risk. But it also knows there is power in doing work:
It’s about the dignity of work… -Albuquerque mayor, Richard J. Berry
None of us may like work, but most of us realize – even if it’s innately – there is dignity when we work.
From the Beginning…Work
There’s a reason we sense fulfillment when we work. We are designed to work.
The book of Genesis outlines the story of creation. The world and all it’s inhabitants are created by God, but it’s man who is created in His image. That means we are built like He is built. That means we are built to find pleasure in work, because God found pleasure in His work and what His work resulted in.
God finds fulfillment in work, so we find fulfillment in work too.
One of the first things God does is assign Adam a job – naming and caring for the animals of the Garden. In this Adam finds a sense of worth, and ever since, work has been a part of finding worth.
God assigns all of us work to do. Some of it is general – care for one another, be fruitful and multiply, etc, but other things are personal and individual. Another word for it is purpose. Your purpose is work, and work is purposeful.
Get out there and Work!
Today’s challenge is simple. Work and find fulfillment.
It’s more than your job. This is all you do. When you do it, embrace it. Find satisfaction in knowing you are creating dignity and worth in yourself. Know that you are doing what God has designed you to do.