The nobility of what we do is never founded in the results of that work. The true nobility of work rests in the fact that we have it to do and put our best effort into it. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
I once heard a dairy farmer friend of mine say,“The hardest thing about milking cows is that they never stay milked.” Day in and day out, repetition is the life of the dairy farmer. The tasks of maintaining, producing and doing it all over again the next day, are never ending. Whether that be a Sunday or a holiday, the cows come first. They always need to be milked.
If a dairy farmer doesn’t keep a positive attitude and employ diligence, the whole thing will fall apart in a flash. Yet, rep- etition and sameness have a way of undermining attitude and diligence when the cow’s needs, apparent as they seem, become all too familiar, even unimportant in a way. The perspective on what makes a dairy farm tick can become pretty blurred when “the cows never stay milked.”
If you’re into bumper-sticker philosophy, you’ve probably seen the axiom, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.” For a vast portion of the workforce, that’s the best reason they can muster for going to the job each day. According to one poll, only 43 percent of American office workers are satisfied with their jobs. In Japan, the figure dips to 17 percent.
Yet, a significant and often overlooked way that we serve God is in our everyday tasks. Martin Luther understood this when he wrote, “The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays -- not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” (Our Daily Bread, September 5, 1994.)
In this respect, work, in and of itself, is noble. The nobility of what we do in this life is never founded in the results of that work. Rather, the true nobility of work rests in the fact that we have it to do and put our very best effort into it no matter what the result of that labor might be. Our task as workers is not to continually examine why we work. Rather, a better task would be to consider continually how we work. When we put our labors into the right perspective, the work remains under control and purposeful. God uses what we do for His purpose; whether that be milking the cows or trans- porting the milk to the dairy. He observes our efforts even those small and repetitious ones and puts His personal stamp of glory on the results of that labor. The milk may be dairy fresh, but the ultimate product is holy.
We pray. Heavenly Father, there are many things that we do every day that are repetitive, even boring. We tend to label these as without much value if any at all. Forgive us Lord when we don’t see all the tasks in life that you have given us to do as important to you. You take the unimportant and turn it into something worthwhile no matter how we think of it. Take the whole of our lives, Lord, and mold and shape something of importance this day that will further the kingdom work. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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