Sometimes we add value to the lives of others on the job when we are compensated in one form or another for our work. Other times, we add value to the lives of others through volunteer service or through the work we do for our family and friends.
As I was engaged in this last type of work (cleaning up dishes at home this weekend), my mind was drawn to Brother Lawrence and his focus on “practicing the presence of God” in all of life and work. Here’s a link to some of his reflections (The Practice of the Presence of God: The Best Rule of Holy Life).
From a prayer attributed to Brother Lawrence, Justin drew three lessons:
1. God Wants to Mold You in Your Work
First, God cares about your work because God wants to mold you and shape you through your work. He wants to form and change you through serving others and adding value to their lives. On this point, Brother Lawrence prayed,
“Lord of all pots and pans and things…
make me a saint by getting meals,
and washing up the plates.”
2. God Wants to Meet You in Your Work
Second, God cares about your work because God cares about you. For many Christians, there is a tendency to separate our lives of weekend worship from weekday work. But God is not interested in just meeting you on Sunday morning (or whenever you gather for worship). God wants to meet you on Monday morning as well. He wants to meet with you and have you recognize His presence with you in your work. On this point, Brother Lawrence prayed,
“Warm all the kitchen with Thy Love,
and light it with Thy peace;
forgive me all my worrying,
and make my grumbling cease.”
3. God Wants to Minister through You in Your Work
Finally, God cares about your work because God wants to minister through you to others. Work is one of the main pathways we add value to the lives of those around us. On this point, Brother Lawrence prayed,
“Thou who didst love to give men food,
in room, or by the sea,
accept the service that I do,
I do it unto Thee. Amen.”
How can we apply each of these things to our own work? How can we stay alert for the presence of God in our daily life and work? Justin has some great tips and Bible verses to remember over at his blog. Worth checking out!
Image: Work, Wacky Toyo Boy Borj, Flickr, via Purpose in Leadership.