Why is Work a Four-Letter Word?

Lately, Thruway Christians has been sort of exploding. Members are building a TWC forum so beautiful it’s all I can do not to become Greek. (Get it? Greek forum?! Sorry. I’m exhausted.) We now have built us a TWC website that’s really just a blog that looks just like my blog [update: not anymore it doesn't!] and right now doesn’t have any content on it at all because I’ve been too busy to put any there because I’m just now ghosting a whole book that’s due in two weeks but I know I can do it because I’m such a good writer as you can easily tell right now thanks.)

So all this TWC stuff has me back in the mind of mine I used to use back when I was a magazine editor.

I used to get hired to create/fix magazines. And part of doing that was dealing with all the people I had to fire, hire, and inspire. Editors, writers, photographers, graphics people, sales people, advertisers who wanted to pay us in trade and how in the heck am I supposed to pay my people with stuff you want to exchange for ads gimme a break and cut me a check.

I miss that stuff. Faxes faxing, phones phoning, sales people having nervous breakdowns, intrusive publishers imagining they know jack crap about what readers want, writers turning in 3,000-word personal essays instead of the 400-word profile piece they were supposed to write, graphics people who … well, are always mellow and awesome, actually.

All of it! I was born to that work, I tells ya.

Except I was also born to write stuff that isn’t Today’s Hot Topic, so … you know: come a time, and all that. But the people part of that sort of work I really, really miss. Now I work alone. No more lines at my desk. No more a thousand decisions per minute. No more twenty messages while I was at lunch.

*Sniff.* I’m so lonely now.

Well, I was. Then Thruway Christians … came calling.

And so lately I’ve been recalling all the great fun I used to have being part of a dedicated, passionate group of people who are giving their all to turn their shared vision into a reality. Being on a team like that is pretty much one of the greatest feelings you can have. I miss it so.

Less so now, of course. Yay yay yayeth!

So here’s what I wanted to share:

I have a theory about organizations—which is basically a theory about life, since what is life but an organization without a clear boss? (Yes, I know: God’s in charge. And, frankly, I’m tired of his having the best office. Plus my chair squeaks.) And that theory is that if people in an organization aren’t having fun, something is wrong.

There. That’s my theory. And I’m so right about it. “Work” is supposed to be fun. Life is supposed to be fun. And if it’s not, then that is certain proof that something somewhere in that organization has gone seriously wrong.

Work should be fun. Our relationship with God should be fun. Life should be fun.

So that’s what I want to now babble about on my blog for the next few posts.

What fun!

****

Think of the fun you’ll have joining my Facebook fan page! But do it anyway.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

    John, you are right, but then you so often are. Work has long gotten a bum rap, given the description of mindless drudgery that you loathe but that you do for 30 or so years, then you retire or die. But it doesn’t have to be the case. One can work, and have a great deal of fun doing it.

    Life and work can be frustrating, despairing, maddening, yet also challenging, inspiring, rewarding, dotted liberally with times of great satisfaction and unadulterated joy.

    I think mindsets have a great deal to do with how we view work, God and life. But then that’s just me.

    • Mary G

      Nope, it’s not just you, it’s me too! Mindset is EVERYTHING.

      When it’s raining… YAY – my flowers and trees needed a drink -vs- boo… I wanted to play soccer today

      When it’s snowing… YAY – I love a day at home, and it’s so pretty, and.. -vs- boo… I hate shoveling, and it’s cold and icy, and the roads are dangerous and…

      When at work:… YAY! I have the opportunity to be of service to others in some way -vs- boo… I hate working, I hate these people (they’re all such jerks), why do I have to do this, why does the world insist on using money,….

      When in relationships…. oh yeah, don’t get me started here! LOLOLOL….

      But that’s just ME. ;-)

  • Katie

    It IS fun!! Everyone involved with Thruway Christians is so dedicated, passionate and kind. They are literally living by the example of loving above all else. That’s super awesome and very fun!

  • http://sus4th.wordpress.com Paul Ardoin

    The better joke would have been: “…a forum so beautiful, I want to move to Inglewood.”

    Never mind; that’s not any good either.

  • grandmaloves

    Ok, just a little tibit stuck in my head; so sharing….

    In the Garden of Eden before the fall; work was ordained!

    God had given work for Adam and Eve to do in the garden.

    Being farmers; harvesting the land; tending and protecting animals.

    And…. drum roll please… they were also vegetarians!

    In Heaven we are all Vegetarians and there are no marriages between human beings.

    No marriage; except the Body of Christ to Christ and we will be vegetarians protecting animals again.

    Sorry to say I am not a vegetarian here on earth; most of my children are; but, I was a child of the fifties and sixties. We grew up on meat and potatoes.

    But, I know I will be one in Heaven.

    Blessings all! Jo

    • Tim

      Wait just a devil-damned minute. What th’ heaven leads you to believe that we’re all going to be vegan in the life everlasting? ‘Cause sister, that would be HELL! If the idea that we will pick up where Adam and Eve left off before the fall, well that seems a tad suckish to me. There’s got to be something worth eating forever besides carrots, beets and broccoli. After all, A & E were earthlings, not heavenliness. And when we see Him (The Lord) we will be like Him. And what did the Lord enjoy more than a nice bbq’d offering of succulent lamb on a red hot altar. I mean, its not like we have to eat healthy. We do live forever and we are perfect so anything we eat is perfectly metabolized. So perfectly metabolized, I believe, that we excrete absolutely no bodily waste, ergo, no anus. Maybe no genetals either. Especially when you think on the whole “no marrieds” thought. That, at least, is substantiated in Scripture.

      I mean, what’s fun about eternal veganism? Next you’ll be telling me we forfeit dimensional transmigration for a Chevy Volt, some musty board shorts, a well-worn pair of Birkenstocks, and a tie-dyed t-shirt. Cremated me and toss my ashes on the Ganges, if that’s what I have to look forward to.

      • Don Rappe

        If God had not intended us to eat animals, he would not have made them of delicious meat!

    • cat rennolds

      It is worth remembering that Cain was a farmer, and his offering was rejected. Abel’s offering of meat was the one that was accepted. And that’s what started the feud.

      Of course, I’ve always thought that was a parable about the Jews being a nomadic herding people, and their constant conflict with the settled agricultural societies around them for the same land, but, hey.

      I also think that heaven is wherever God is. And God is wherever you look. We just have to grow into it.

  • Don Rappe

    This reminds me of a former colleague who liked to say that if work were fun we’d have to pay to do it.

  • http://gooseberrybush.wordpress.com gooseberrybush

    Fun is good.

  • Don Whitt

    I love work. I was an ant in my last life – and really good, apparently.

  • JoAnn Mitchell

    Tim, I know, I know… better get to eating all the meat you can here on earth; LOL…

    I had a hard time years ago when I first heard we will be vegetarians too. What??? was my first reaction to. How can that be? Sorry, no proof Jesus ate any lamb. Only protein talked about was fish.

    Then, the whole “no sex” thing… watch a PBS PROGRAM CALLED SEX AND THE BIBLE. Very enlightening. Explains where this whole mess of being “gay” being a sin. Actually all sex is a sin in Paul’s eye’s; unless your making a baby. Paul felt we should all be “sexless” here on earth. As in Heaven we will be “sexless”; Paul, really? Your talking to human beings. Us fallen creatures. Do you possible think we won’t have sex or eat meat and drink on this earth.

    Tim, Tim, Tim…. sorry to break the news like there is no Easter Bunny. But, some body had to.

    Go buy a steak and savor it today….

    I don’t buy into this; but, gospel churches also preach there may not be animals; except horses in Heaven. So, fluffy… we are not sure we will see you again. As horses are the only animal mention in the New Earth.

    God, learning deeper truths can be a pain in the butt. Ignorance some times is bliss. But, then I would have to also be ignorant to knowing it is stupid to be bias to gay individuals.

    The following is from CHRISTIANITY TODAY AND I HAVE ALSO HEARD MANY PREACHERS TEACH WE WILL BE VEGETARIANS IN THE NEW EARTH. LIKE ADAM AND EVE WERE IN THE GARDEN.

    The reference to Adam and Eve invites us to start with the book of Genesis.

    God allowed Adam and Eve to eat plants and herbs, a privilege he granted also to the animals (Gen. 1:29-30). And humans and animals enjoyed a peaceful and friendly relationship in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:19-20).

    It was only after the Flood that permission was granted to eat animal flesh, and only then under the condition that the blood was drained out of the meat (Gen. 9:3-4). We may take this as indication that meat-eating was not ideal, although God certainly blessed the eating of meat in other times and places (Lev. 6:24-29 Acts 10:9-16).

    The Bible’s description of the new earth and new heaven uses categories that hark back to the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Life will bear 12 different types of fruit year-round, one for each month, and its leaves will heal the nations (Rev. 22:2). There will be no need for temple or sacrifices, sun or moon, because God’s presence will provide all that is needed. The Bible ends as it began, with a luscious garden in which God rules supreme and his people enjoy him forever.

    A vegetarian diet appears to be the ideal before the fall of Adam and Eve, and our lives in the New Jerusalem will reflect that paradise in many ways. How do Isaiah 11 and 65 fit in? They identify the new world order established by a king from the line of David (). This new order will be one of peace and tranquility. Since it also brings peace to predator and prey (), perhaps this means we will not eat meat in the fulfilled kingdom.

    On the other hand, Isaiah’s portrait of the messianic age is making a different point. The prophet is stating that when the Messiah’s reign fully arrives, peace will permeate everything; there will be no room for destruction or death. In this light, the Isaiah passages are not necessarily implying anything specific about our dietary practices in the age to come.

    Also, before asking whether we will be eating meat in the new heaven and the new earth, we might ask: Is it certain we will be eating anything at all? Even though the risen, glorified Jesus ate this world’s fish, to this question we must answer: Who knows?

    We should remember that when the Bible describes our blissful existence in the age of the new earth, it consistently uses metaphorical language; indeed, it must because the next life can only be seen through a glass darkly, even for the inspired authors (1 Cor. 13:12). So most descriptions of streets of gold and pearly gates are metaphors for a life that is beyond our abilities to comprehend.

    Through such figurative language, the Bible teaches that our life in eternity will be one of peaceful (re)union with God, where we will enjoy him forever. Not all the language of the coming age is figurative, however, and the Bible also speaks of existence in heaven in very physical ways. Heaven is not some sort of shadowy, disembodied existence.

    Rather, it is the transformation of life as we know it today; a genuinely renewed creation, in which our resurrected bodies and this renewed earth enjoy peace and bliss eternally. The great Creator of heaven and earth will not abandon his material creation but transform it.

  • JoAnn Mitchell

    Tim, I can put you at ease about one thing. You won’t be running around in tie-dyed shirt.

    You will look more like a toga master.

    We will all be wearing white robes with a white stone in our pocket. On this stone Jesus will have the new name Jesus has given to us enscribed upon it.

    Ok, I know the image of yourself in Heaven running around in a white robe (hopefully we get a little wine to party in these robs) with a white stone in your pocket eating leaves off tree’s or a little fruit picked doesn’t sound like how you imagined yourself.

    But, hey. Start getting use to the image…. I laugh at myself when I think of it too; I am older woman; not exactly the sexy look I would hope for. Maybe, that is why Heaven will be so joyful.

    We will all be laughing at one another eating leaves and running around in robes.

    Got have a little humor with it all… we only know in part now.

    Jo


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