Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the calling of work

In last Sunday's message we looked at Sin's Judgment in the latter half of Genesis 3.

(If you were away on spring break or missed for some other reason, you gotta catch up. Genesis 3 is huge in understanding the rest of Genesis and our own stories!)

We talked ever so briefly about how the Fall and Judgment of God effects our work. I'm always careful to make the point. . .

Work is not the curse, but a part of our creation calling back in Genesis 1 . . . be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it . . . . but now because of sin, our work is cursed. The ground, instead of partnering with us, now resists us.

Since work consumes so much of our lives, whether we're stay-at-home moms working at home, or professors or some other kind of professionals, we need a theology of work. Since we're going to spend so much of our God-given time working, it's vital that we learn to think about work from a Biblical perspective. Genesis 1 and Genesis 3 together form part of that Biblical understanding and there are many other passages as well.

It just so happens that this morning, as I was riding my bike into my work at 5:30 AM along Orcutt road, I stumbled upon this TED video on my iPod . . . (Don't worry, I wasn't watching, while riding, just listening!) Warning: this will make you laugh, and could make you blush . . . watch it first, then see my comments below. . .

I've never seen the Discovery Channel show, Dirty Jobs, but I'd like to check it out. Are you familiar with it? Mike is a very good presenter. Draws you in 'till you're on the edge of your seat, and then makes you think. . . HARD.

I think that he has stumbled on some important, but neglected, Biblical truth regarding the dignity of all work, from scraping road kill to catching crabs.

Whatever your hand finds to do today, do it with diligence, excellence and with all your heart, as unto the Lord, your real boss!


Nate Maas said...

Interesting. I would not have figured he was so intelligent. There is a lot of wisdom in his message.

Anonymous said...

I love the shows Dirty Jobs and the Deadliest Catch. I found his message interesting.

I do not agree following your passion is wrong. As Christians God places a passion in our hearts. Follow this passion with Christ's light shining through you and you will never go wrong. I KNEW God wanted me to be not only a physician but an OB/GYN. It was my professional passion. It was truly a rare day I did not want to go to work. I "whistled while I worked", actually I sang off key.

My team is what made me successful. From the ward clerk to the OR Tech., from my nurse to the receptionist. Team work was crucial. Everyone's role was essential, no small players. The New Testament reinforces we all have a unique purpose working in God's body. Each one of us has a unique role to play. Respect is the key. If you don't respect your team they will not respect you. By respecting someone's job you have given them dignity.

Dignity = quality of being worthy of respect.

Ego makes us believe our job is more important, that WE are more important. Jealousy makes us believe we are inferior leading us to bitterness.

We are all the same in God's eyes.

Denene Klosterman

Ron Johnston said...

Really profound social commentary. We've become snobs, looking down on lots of jobs as if their pop caricatures were true. Good post!

Jeff Martin said...

Fantastic post and Ron hit the head of the nail. Like Rowe said, we have in fact declared war on work.

We no longer see the same competition even in our youth for the available jobs in food service, grocers, and other similar very noble work areas. It's a strange change that has only become more severe. Have you noticed this? We are not talking that long ago. For whatever reason, the folks filling these jobs are no longer our kids and youth... Why?

Like Rowe said, I wish not to sound as if I am an organized labor proponent since I am fundamentally at odds with the labor Unions to begin with. But, the labor force, particularly the construction craft and labor trades are rapidly fading into emergency mode. There are no more real master technicians nor journymen for the needed teaching and mentoring and a huge gap is forming.

Cannot determine why either. Outdoor work, healthy lifestyle, high paying, and more then I can mention really. No increase in the workforce. Yes - the trades can have their off years, but I believe we just witnessed that poor economys hit far more then just the labor areas.

Thought provoking in many areas. But Rowe only fueled much of my concerns that have been around for a while.

Thanks for sparking it up PT and sharing such a refreshing topic even if there is a downside to th news...

Lisa Lewis said...

Mike Rowe has a following in the Lewis household! We all love to watch Dirty Jobs because not only is he funny but also consistently thought provoking. Didn't know Mike has a Classical education, but it makes sense when you hear him talk about what goes on behind the job he is learning.

He is also absolutely right regarding the war on work; as a culture at large the lack of respect toward hands on work is demeaning both to the person and the work itself.

We have witnessed the smiling faces of wood collectors in Sri Lanka and the downcast faces of the Cal Trans workers shoveling dirt. The perceived value of work is likely the difference between the countenances of those men.

In a time of extreme economic change we would be wise to value all work without judgment, and hopefully re-evaluate what "making a living" looks like in our super-inflated culture.

Thank you Tim for sharing Mike's talk; it will continue to buzz in my brain for awhile!

just craig said...

The first couple of things I thought of even in the midst of watching this was I hope you heard the really funny parts at a point in your ride you didn't bust a gut and swerve off the road and second how much as someone who has always had to do hard physical labor to get by how I felt like a fish in a bowl looking out at so many others who didn't have a clue to Mike's new found perspective on life and how much they miss in thier rushed after ivory towers mentallity to what really brings satisfaction and therefore a heart of gratitude to our GOD for how he designed things to work and our parts in it.