Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Work & Learn

Year 4-Day 47: Today, I am grateful for opportunities to work and to learn.

There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from doing a job yourself.  A greater one from doing the job well. Achieving excellence isn't instant - but it is worth the effort and the there is joy in the journey. 

This Lincoln quote still holds truth:"You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves." 

Imagine his commentary on government today, if he were alive. The old African proverb says, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." Lincoln was not afraid of hard work. After growing up on the farm, Lincoln worked as a boatman, store clerk, surveyor, militia soldier, and eventually became a lawyer in Illinois. He believed in work.  

In an address to Congress, once he became president, he spoke these words: 

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." 

Work matters. Learning matters.

As a farm boy, Lincoln knew the long hours and the sometimes fruitless labor that could happen, even if you did you best and worked hard. Weather, pests, flood and drought could steal the fruits of your labor.  It didn't mean you quit trying or stopped working. 

Early in his life, his family lost their first farm over a title dispute. I wonder if it is a part of what inspired him to become a lawyer. He was respectful of women. He grew up a working mother and step-mother, because farm wives worked with their husbands. He lacked formal education but developed a broad perspective. His open-mindedness  and ability to see things from many sides made him brilliant. 

Books were the luxury in his life... typically read by firelight or lamplight after the long day's work was done. Education was of great value because it was a privilege. He was self taught by his books. He said,“My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.” I have no doubt his learning went far beyond many of his peers with more formal educations...and he used common sense. 

Common sense is not so common anymore. 

Colossians 3:23-25 addresses working and waiting: 

 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Today...we can choose to work for the Lord.  I love perspective changes. If you are discontented at work and can't change your "job" - change your "employer". Work is what we do to earn a living it does not define who we are. If Christ is Lord...we are, ultimately,  working for Him.  

We are the Children of a living God...put here for the purpose of finding a relationship with him through Jesus.  What ever work you do...volunteer or paid...do it to His glory. Don't underestimate the ripple effect of the work. It may echo into eternity. 

1 Corinthians 10:31: "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17: "
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Giving thanks! 

Today, I am grateful for opportunities to work and to learn.

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