As we discussed last week, the first task of understanding and appreciating work is to place it within a holistic vision. That entails appreciating work in all of its manifestations. We get a fractured view of work because we’ve accepted the colloquial understanding that work is only those efforts tied to salaried employment. With that view it’s no wonder we’ve invented silly phrases like work/life balance.
Humankind fall into two basic categories. Those who acknowledge that purpose exists and those who do not. You cannot come and go on this point. If purpose exists, it must exist universally; if it does not, then it cannot at all. If you don’t believe in purpose, I’d love to talk with you so please feel free to reach out. Having said that let’s presuppose for the basis of this column that purpose exists.
We also discussed in the last post that work is a process of shaping and endeavoring towards something, so what kind of “life” does not move towards something? The amazing thing about creation is that it never stops. Nor can we. Unceasing is the nature of things, so when we try to stop working and enter the “life” part of our alleged balance, what are we doing since we can’t cease? Something or someone is moving us. We are being moved unbeknownst to us, we have become disengaged to the purpose of our movement and our purpose dies and our life with it. We become hapless wanderers with no vision and no endeavoring.
I once had a personal trainer who taught me the phrase, “Work while you rest.” The idea being that you would have intervals of heavy work interspersed with lighter work while I was “resting” from the heavier lifting. If I did only the heavy lifting with no rest, I would get injured and the purpose of my exercise to be healthy would be lost. However, if I adjusted to include work in its multiple facets, I would have an exponential gain towards my purpose. There is a time to put down one “work” and pick up another, but never cease endeavoring.
Work as endeavor means we have a purpose. If we have a purpose, we presuppose a vision. In other words, we want to get to something and we have devised a plan on how to get there. We see it. That is our vision. Christians believe that God reveals His vision in just the right amount for our limited sight and at just the right time. They also believe that the plan, as it were, is His and their purpose is to be in His presence. So, they’re set, and their work can begin. If you’re not in that camp, ask yourself the fundamental questions: Who, what, when, where, why, and how. All types of work will endeavor together towards the vision’s goal and you can work while you rest. Next post, we’ll set our minds towards the fundamental questions.