Workin’ for the Man

Over the past month I’ve been looking for a job. Now all 2 of you may be wondering what happened to Wendy’s? Well, to be honest, i decided it was time to move on. So i spent roughly a month in futility, languishing away with little money and desperately praying for a job. Of all places the Gap Outlet hired me. But this is beside the point.

The point is that as I was seeking out a job and finally came upon one, i was caught in this bitter paradox. I knew I needed/wanted to work because of financial reasons. But at the same time I dreaded (and still dread) going to work. Ecclesiastes 2:17-26 helped me deal with submitting to work at the Gap (especially v. 24). And, from my highly advanced theological training, I know that work is good, that, as that passage says, it’s from God. So if I know that I should enjoy work, why don’t I?

Of course, the technical theological answer is: because of the Fall. After all, Adam’s punishment was that his work/toil would become difficult and painful (Genesis 3:17-19). But what exactly makes the work so bad? I look at times when I enjoy my work..when are those? When I’m serving someone else selflessly and not really getting “paid” to do it. Then I don’t mind my work. To serve someone in such a capacity is much more rewarding than merely working for a paycheck.

So my theological theory (which may be nothing significant at all) is that what makes work so bad is that we are often placed in places we don’t want to be, doing work we don’t want to do, for a reward that we ultimately can’t enjoy. But when we find ourselves in a position to help without much hope of a physical reward, it seems the work becomes a joy. Why? Because the “warm and fuzzy” feeling that comes with helping others is not taxable. No one can steal that feeling and so I say that this is how true work really is supposed to be.

What say you?

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