November 30, 2012 - Finding Fulfillment 9 to 5
By Gary Rogers
It is easy to get frustrated in our labor. "I feel like I'm spinning my wheels." "I work my fingers to the bone and no one appreciates it." "I work like a slave and we still can't get ahead." "We work, work, work, and it seems like we're getting nowhere." How can the excitement of going to the job interview and wanting to get the job turn into such an empty daily pursuit?
With a 40-hour workweek and 45-year career, the outcome is 93,600 hours at work or 5,616,000 minutes. If all that time is spent frustrated, dissatisfied and unfulfilled, then those negative perceptions will become the primary influence in your life. Even if you attend church "every time the doors are open," it would probably total no more than 8 hours weekly, or 416 hours yearly. You spend at least 5 times longer at work than at church. Time is influence. Time devoted to any activity will in some way have an influence upon your life.
For those whose labor stays closer to home, the challenges remain the same. If you change 6 diapers a day per child, that is 42 per week or 2,184 yearly and approximately 5,460 in total before potty training is successful. When you consider washing the same clothes over and over, sweeping the same floors over and over, cleaning the same toilets over and over, feeding the same mouths over and over, it is easy to understand how it could become pretty redundant and unfulfilling.
I believe everyone wants to feel productive, needed, fulfilled and successful. Where can we find the answer to deal with the mundane challenges of work? How can you find fulfillment in changing a diaper?
Consider these biblical work mottoes.
"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31, NKJV).
"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17).
"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:23,24).
The key to fulfillment is found in worship. We were designed with a fulfillment gauge that reaches its highest when we know God is honored through us. Whatever we do, it should be done so God is honored in us.
Yes, even changing a diaper shows devotion when a parent lives by biblical principles and offers godly care to a child. God is honored in that! A faithful worker showing up every morning on time ready to do his or her job gives honor to God.
When we readjust our focus on who should receive glory through our efforts, our work takes on new meaning, and we no longer need to count an endless series of unfulfilling hours.
Who gets the glory from your work?
— Gary Rogers is senior pastor of Grand Assembly of God in Chickasha, Okla.