“Work, work, work, that’s the life for me. Work, work, work, especially for free.” Those are the words of the song that my father composed – and made us sing. We would also regularly recite “The D. family LOVES to work.” No, this is not a joke!
I remember my first job as a college student. My immediate supervisor thought I was wonderful. Why? I showed up when scheduled and worked the whole time I was there. I was puzzled as to why this was such a novelty to her.
After I gave notice at my last job, I continued to work hard, even working overtime, to help them meet a government imposed deadline. I am on salary, so no extra money for the efforts.
Someone asked me, why? Most people slack off after they give notice, but you are working harder than ever. Why?
The reason is simple: I do not work for my employer. I work for God. Leaving them stranded would not have been the right thing to do. So with the help of two awesome ladies, the project was 95% done before I left.
Here is the other part to the equation, I actually like to work. I guess my father’s songs became reality! One of my favorite scriptures is from John 10:10:
The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that you may have life, and have life to the full.
In the garden, before the fall – when life was perfect, man was given work to do. What does that tell you? Work is meant to be enjoyed! The thief wants to steal, kill and destroy our joy. He wants us to hate that which God gave as a gift.
Now you may think, that’s easy for you to say, you have a cushy job, of course you like it. Not always true. I have had jobs which were quite painful, where I was mistreated, stepped on, taken advantage of, humiliated, and underpaid. Yet even though I disliked my employer’s practices, I still loved my actual work.
I believe it is a decision. I spend the better part of my week working. I want to enjoy my life. To do this, I have to intentionally choose to enjoy my work!
Here is another secret, if you enjoy your work, you will work harder, and actually experience more success!
Trust me, I have done menial jobs that were not fun. I have spent literally weeks in the file room. How mind stimulating is that? So I would ask myself, how much could I file in an hour? Could I file faster than my co-workers? Could I finish it before my self-imposed deadline? When it was game, then it was fun, and suddenly the task was not so bad.
I also have resolved not to say “I hate” any task. One of the things I have to do is issue form documents. I prefer to compose the template and have someone else issue the actual form. But at this job, there is me, and me, in my department, which means I get to do both. I could say, “I hate issuing standard documents”. Then hate every minute of it. Instead, I can refuse to say “I hate”, and choose to enjoy my work instead. Playing games in my head again, how fast can I put it together? Can I do it with no mistakes in the first attempt? Can I start after lunch and still make the 3:00 FedEx pick-up? Suddenly the form contract is a game – almost even fun.
Work is a gift. I intend to enjoy it.
“Seek peace and pursue it” Psalm 34:14b