Summer is here and I hope you are planning on taking a vacation. I have read several reports that claim Americans work more hours, take fewer vacations, and retire later, than those in any other industrialized country. And anecdotally I can see what the men and women in our church are doing. We are always working, and seldom resting. As a pastor I encourage the church to take vacation seriously, not because it is directly commanded in Scripture, but because it is a means by which we are prepared to do what God calls us to. To get the most out of your vacation three things must be known and embraced.
Our Work is Good
Contrary to how many of us feel, work is a gift and not a curse. Whether laying carpet, plowing a field, crunching numbers in a cubicle, making the sale, or building a house, work is something good for which God has made us.
When God created Adam and Eve (Gen. 1, 2), when all was right in the world, we were called to work. In fact part of why we work is because we have been made in God’s image. He is the Great Worker. As Creator he fashioned the heavens and the earth. As the God of Providence he actively governs all that happens in the cosmos, even the affairs of mankind. In God’s great work of redemption we see the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit collaborating in rescuing sinners. God’s works are mighty and glorious, and as those made by him and for him we follow God’s pattern of work.
It is true that after sin entered the world work became more toilsome, but for most people the real problem with work has little to do with the curse of God. The real reason we hate work is because we do not see how it relates to our calling, and how through it we can glorify and enjoy God. Your “line of work,”your job, is not simply what you do to pay the bills, it is what God has you doing at this time in order to function as he has designed you.
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