Recovering Your Passion for Work

Recovering Your Passion for Work

A few years ago I saw an interview of some of the aerospace engineers who worked in the Apollo project to send a man to the moon. One engineer commented that during the 60’s they worked 16-17 hour days, six days a week. The interviewer responded, “You must have been exhausted working that many hours for so many years.”  The engineer answered, “To the contrary!  We were totally energized and invigorated. Those were the best years of my life.  We knew that our work was important; we had to beat the Russians to the moon!”
            These engineers viewed their work as important, and it totally energized them.
            You might say, “That’s great, but my job isn’t exactly trying to send someone to the moon.”  But, wouldn’t you agree that how import a task is, ultimately must be determined by God’s value system?  So how important does God consider your “secular” job to be?
            Your vocational calling just happens to fulfill God’s basic purpose for humankind!  Do you think that might make it kind of important to him?  God said to the man and woman, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28) God’s purpose for mankind is to exercise dominion over the earth—to discover the earth’s potential, to utilize its resources to express your God-given creativity and improve life, to shape the society that emerges from Adam and Eve’s fruitfulness. This calling is important not only because it is God’s very purpose for you as a man, but because God’s creation is a rich, wonderful expression of his very nature.  Your high and noble calling is to have a part in the development of the full potential of God’s creation—which glorifies him.
            Let me say it again:  God’s primary purpose for your life is for you to help develop the potential of creation, including the network of social interactions that make up our culture.  Building a steel company, teaching music to children, harnessing the potential of computer technology, managing the finances of a railroad, helping businesses market their services, leading a non-profit that helps corporations manage the environmental impact of their services, serving as a police officer or attorney—every honorable vocation develops or manages the potential of God’s glorious creation.
            As you do your work for Christ in the way he would do it, your work itself becomes sacred—an offering to him of your energy and creativity.  It is true that your job is a means to support your family, demonstrate character, and share the gospel; but never forget the importance of the work itself. When done heartily as to the Lord it brings great pleasure to your God! He loves his creation, and you were designed for a special role in developing and managing it.
            So, next time you leave your “secular job” exhausted because you’ve given it your best shot, remember to listen for the whisper of your God, “Well done! Well done, good and faithful servant!”