Why do we work?

why we work

What’s the point?

Why do we get up every morning?

Why do we clean the same bathroom each week?

Does it really make a difference if this child knows the difference between a homonym and a homophone?

These kinds of questions can be our constant companions. Especially in a month where all of the days tend to blend together. Don’t get me wrong, many days are good days. Many days are productive days. But sometimes….we start to wonder….

What’s the point?

When all of the little things of life start to become overwhelming, it can feel like nothing lasting or important is ever accomplished. Whether it’s a phone call, car repair, sick toddler, or stubborn teenager, the interruptions to the day can be endless. It is so easy to get stressed and tense when these things keep us from getting our meaningful work done.

Annie Keary has some wisdom that brings these interruptions into an entirely new light. She writes that, “perhaps one’s true work–one’s work for God–consists in doing some trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown into one’s day. It is not a waste of time, as one is tempted to think, it is the most important part of the work of the day–the part one can best offer to God.” Annie Keary, 1825-1879 (Keep a Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot)

How would that simple shift of perspective change our day to day lives? Realizing that maybe, just maybe, the “trifling haphazard thing” could be the point? Could we bring life to the oft-quoted passage, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer describes those who stand fast in times of trouble as having an “exclusive allegiance to God–the responsible man… tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God.”

I believe that these ideas are connected. An exclusive allegiance to God is necessary in order to do anything well, whether big or small. We need that allegiance to stand firm on our principles. We need that allegiance to persevere with grace through every day life. In order to offer Him the most important work of the day, we must dedicate our entire lives to His call.

So what’s the point?

We get up every morning to seek to answer the question and call of God.

We clean the bathrooms, and wash dishes, and change diapers, to offer God the best of ourselves.

We teach the same things over and over to a stubborn child as God reminds us of our own stubborn hearts and refines them into an exclusive allegiance to Himself.

That’s the point. Each and every day. Glory to the King.

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