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Fun Work
Photo: Vladimir Mucibabic
“Daddy, have a fun time at work,” yelled my son as he waved toward a car disappearing around the corner.  I smiled, knowing he was copying what I say to him before school each day.  And then I realized, with amazement, that my son believes that work is something fun.  How cool.

Unfortunately, many of us do not have fun at work.  We do not enjoy what we do.  My husband is one of these people.  He’s in the military doing a job that he doesn’t particularly enjoy, that doesn’t really use the talents God has given him and that sometimes requires him to be away from his family for months. 
But it pays the bills.  And in today’s scary economic climate, he’s in a job he can’t be fired or laid off from that has a pretty fantastic retirement plan.  Some say we couldn’t do much better.

Is that true?

The same day that sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, God pronounced a curse on the work of man’s hands:

“The very ground is cursed because of you; getting food from the ground will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; you'll be working in pain all your life long.  The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you'll get your food the hard way, planting and tilling and harvesting, sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried…” (Genesis 3:18,19 The Message).

That Depresses Me

Now that depresses me and makes my muscles ache just reading it!  No wonder I’m so exhausted at the end of every workday and why I don’t always bounce out of bed to do it all over again in the morning.

So did God’s curse mean that we should hate our work?  I don’t think so, because a few generations later he inspired the wealthiest and wisest man of all times to pen some words to encourage us as we labor and toil.

“Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot.  Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God” (Ecclesiastes. 5:18-19 NIV).

We should find satisfaction and be happy in our work.  And if we aren’t?

The answer is complicated, as most things in life are.  We must weigh our responsibilities against our level of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.  And we must be willing to adjust our standard of living.  No new car or new toy or special vacation brings as much contentment to a family as a mom or dad who comes home satisfied after work each day.

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Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from The Message ® and the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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