Wearing your work?

Don’t put your career Bib Overalls on every day. They reduce the margins for godly work and leave little room to grow spiritually.

My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.

Another weekend has ushered in a new work week for many of us. Personally, there are many significant changes of habit and routine that mark this morning from the Saturday morning now past. I slept until 6:00 Saturday; this morning I was up at my usual weekday 4:00. Another evident change from Saturday is what I am wearing. Typically on Saturday mornings I put on a pair of Bib Overalls, the type that pull chest high and strap over the shoulders. This is my Saturday uniform throughout the year. Mondays through Fridays my typical attire is a pair of slacks, either jeans or khakis depending on my schedule for the day. This is my weekday uniform. Weekdays find me working, but Saturdays find me really WORKING. Bib Overalls signify the dominating chores of the day, chores that pile up throughout the course of the week and plop down on my plate every Saturday morning and won’t be denied. Without a doubt there’s a sense of prioritization for the physical on Saturdays. The work is shoulder high and the bibs tend to detour the ability to relax or to even think about dallying. Once the Bib Overalls are off and slacks go on, however, I take on a sense of the possibility of a compromising balance between working and smelling the roses a bit. If I want to devote myself to chores and chores alone, I put on Bib Overalls. Slacks open up an altogether different mind set.

During the week I choose to be a laborer but someone also able to smell the roses. In essence, I don’t wear my work over my shoulders; I wear it around my waste like a pair of slacks with plenty of room left above for what makes life worth living. I believe that’s what God want from us in terms of balancing our work with our spiritual life as well.

Here’s a story. Douglas MacArthur II, nephew of the famous WWII General, served in the state department when John Foster Dulles was Secretary of State. One evening Mr. Dulles called MacArthur at his home. His wife answered the phone and explained that her husband was not there. Not recognizing who the caller was, she angrily complained, “MacArthur is where MacArthur always is, weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and nights–in that office!” Within minutes Dulles had MacArthur on the phone. He gave him this terse order: “Go home at once, Boy. Your home front is crumbling!” (Unknown.)

Is your spiritual home front in a state or decay, crumbling around you and you aren’t even paying it any notice because you’re used to putting on Bib Overalls Monday through Friday? For many of us that’s the sorry case. The problem is that we wear our work too high, strapped over our shoulders, allowing little room for God to tap us on the shoulder and give us a work assignment pertinent to the Kingdom work so vital to others and necessary for us and our own spiritual development. On Saturdays I’m distracted. Once I pull those Bib Overall straps over my shoulders and buckle them up, I’m on a mission to tackle those chores at all costs. Let nothing intervene. If Holly asks a favor of me or, perish the thought, suggests that we go for a bike ride or walk, red flashing lights go on inside my head. “Alert! The plan has been breached. Intruders at large. Drop the barriers before it’s too late.” Many of us deal with all of our work this way. We spend Sunday evening planning out the week ahead, already multiplying the stress and laying down a groundwork of preplanning and control that straps itself solidly over our shoulders and buckles tightly even before Monday morning dawns. It’s all about keeping a decent margin between what we do to further our labor here on earth and what God has in mind for us to do while there is yet time in this present age to personally make a difference. Don’t put Bib Overalls on every day. They reduce the margins for godly work and leave little room to grow spiritually.

We pray. Thank you Lord for providing us the labor we need to provide for our families. To be industrious is a blessing that we are also grateful for. Forgive us Lord, however, when we work so hard and so regimented that we leave no room for you in our lives. Help us to understand that life is all about margins and balance and that we need to consciously think about you and the spiritual work you long for us to complete before our time on earth is ended. 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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