Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Beauty of Work

"So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God."   ... Ecclesiastes 2:24


I've been extravagantly buying groceries this year and now we have a terrific stockpile for any emergency, overflowing kitchen cupboards and always enough food for our meals, including Tom's work lunches. I've gone a bit overboard and bought yummy items as treats, but also healthier stuff from the organic aisle. Wild, wild! Since January I've gone wild at the supermarket.

I've been spending $55 per week.

Heh. Now, that's not counting cat food or vitamins, but even so, I think that's pretty good, especially when you include my internal giddy feelings of extravagance while sailing my cart down grocery aisles. 

Of course, it's taken work to basically pay 1970's prices, even getting many groceries totally free. You've heard of work, right?

"Work:  /werk/.  To be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result."

What I've noticed? Because of this 'instant is better' society, it's becoming rare to find people who:

1. Love their work
2. Are excited about what they do
3. Go beyond what they're required to do
4. Finish what they start, even if that--literally--requires thousands of hours.

And I'm not just talking Monday through Friday, 9 - 5 jobs, either. 

No, I also mean faithfully giving thousands of hours to our God-given purpose. You know, all the sometimes small-appearing reasons we were set down upon Planet Earth in the first place. Things which, when bundled together, usually add up to an awesome, valuable, productive life.

In the past three decades I've given thousands of hours to (in no special order):

Couponing, reading books on using coupons, joining coupon groups online, organizing coupons, putting together deals, shopping... 
Blogging semi-daily for nearly 9 years, studying how to write concisely, practicing writing 
Bible study, spending time alone getting to know God better, watching and listening to Bible teachers, studying how to become a better teacher, myself. Encouraging people, studying from books, online and Life how to encourage people better, 
Homemaking and decorating, researching in books and online how to do both well and practicing ideas upon my own home, 
Gardening in many different yards, reading about growing plants, etc. online and in books, 
Researching health, natural cures and 'preventative medicine.' 
Most recently I've probably watched 70 hours of The Dog Whisperer, learning not only how to handle dogs calmly, but discovering deeper levels of calmness, myself--and their importance.

Thousands of my life's hours were given to those few areas, rather than just dabbling in myriad  places, flitting like a hummingbird. Why? Dabblers never fulfill their purpose. Dabblers wander off to every bunny trail, never completing their journey, then reaching the end, disappointed. 

Grace led me to these few specific places. Grace and great joy and amazing peace all nudged me toward God's individual plan for me. And it's taken thousands of hours of work. Yet when I figuratively turn my neck and gaze behind me, oh! Rarely did any of it feel like work. 

Mostly it felt like a life bathed in Grace... like a remarkable journey, like the pure, shining joy of obedience.


"Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to."   ... Deuteronomy 15:10

"You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours."   ... Psalm 128:2

"If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it."   ... Matthew 10:39

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