One of the realities of homeownership is, to borrow the profound words of the late comedienne Gilda Radner’s character, Roseanne Roseannadanna, “it’s always something!”
In recent years we’ve had our kitchen and bathrooms remodeled, roof replaced, new windows and siding installed, and recently needed to have a new concrete driveway poured. Since I have a mechanical IQ of about minus-2, all I can do is watch with amazement as craftsmen do their thing, performing work I wouldn’t begin to attempt.
I also look on with appreciation for the diverse gifts and talents these carpenters, plumbers, roofers, concrete workers and contractors possess, so different from mine own. When it comes to working with my hands, the only tasks I can do with any success are with fingers applied to a computer keyboard.
A prevailing notion is that work is “a necessary evil,” but work done well can be an endless source of joy and satisfaction. Serving customers at a restaurant, building a house, teaching a class, writing an article, landscaping a yard, directing a meeting, performing a concert, selling a car, baking a casserole, or doing countless other jobs, there’s something noble about a job well-done.
The organs in a human body perform different but equally critical roles for maintaining good health. In a similar way, we’re all blessed with diverse interests, strengths and abilities needed in a strong, thriving society. I’m thankful for the person that delivers our morning newspaper (yes, we still receive one of those), the mail carrier, cashiers and clerks at our grocery store, the fellow that guides me into the car wash, people that fix the potholes on the roads, even meter readers that come by to see how much electricity and water we’ve used.
There’s a passage in the Scriptures that describes this well: “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts, and though all the parts are many, they form one body…” (1 Corinthians 12:12). It goes on to point out, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor…” (1 Corinthians 12:21-23).
But there’s another aspect of work that makes it even more meaningful and fulfilling. It’s when we recognize we’re not only serving other people but also the God who created and ordained work. Colossians 3:22-24 states, “Slaves (or workers), obey your earthly masters (employers) in everything, and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
With that perspective, how can we ever give less than our very best – no matter what kind of work we find ourselves doing?
Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.