We listen to a lot of country music. One of the constant themes in this genre of music is the idea of "Working for the Weekend!" It is pervasive in our culture as well. We see work as something that we must do in order to have a certain quality of life.
Work is a "means to an end" for most of us today. This causes us to resent the work and focus only on the benefits we derive from it. We begin to see our work as the time where we are out of control and our own time as the really meaningful time where we are in control of our destiny.
So as the resentment and lack of control build up, we get increasingly negative about work. Sometimes our struggles with work don't come from either of these issues but from sheer exhaustion. We live with so little margin that we struggle against the things that are driving us . . . like our work.
We find that when we allow these forces to drive our work, we loose all our joy and replace it with bitterness, frustration and discontent. But if our work is driven by our desire to share what we know with others there is opportunity for great joy.
How do we do this? Here are just a few things that make a difference in our perspective about work:
1. Finding ways throughout our day to share what we are doing and learning with others so that people benefit in small but meaningful ways.
2. Identifying the "why" behind our work so we can always keep the big picture in focus.
3. Making life part of work rather than separating it in a silo. We talk with our kids about work and build life into our work so that neither one is the master of the other.
4. Striving to see God glorified in all our work so that we are ultimately working for Him rather than for any earthly reason.
We hope these ideas are an encouragement as you ask yourself the question "What am I working for?"