I love looking at harder/frustrating times in life as lessons. ( I guess you can call me a glass half full kind of girl). I love thinking about experiences that my friends and I have gone through and mining the gold out of the often hard and cold ground.
The lesson I am in the middle of at the moment is about work. I find myself exploring its importance, purpose and asking myself; "from what place inside of myself do I find the effort to do it"?
I am not alone in exploring these questions. I believe that my generation is taking the same class. The highly resourced yet under focused generation I belong to are the “millennials”. We seem to have it all, yet have it all confused at the same time. We, thanks to the hard work of our parents, have no real concern for our basic needs. We can leap over Maslow's first two tiers with complete ease and this makes our work ethic and reason for work incredibly different from the generations before us. Unlike them, we focus on feelings rather than necessity and we have an expectation that things will come easier.
Our perception of work has also changed because the types of jobs that are available and the way in which we work has transformed. Millennials are also described as the ‘slash’ generation. We no longer have one job title but we seem to have many. I fit right into this: Youth Leader/ Communications and Digital Marketing Executive / Singer. From the beginning of my working life, I have split my attention and commitment.
Today, Good Friday, we look to the cross. We look to the sinless saviour taking on our sin. We think of the provider of all our needs, delivering our greatest. We think of hands that flung stars into space, surrendering to cruel nails.
We look to the perfect work of Jesus on the cross.
His work was certainly not easy, one does not sweet drops of blood when thinking about easy work. The toil of the work ahead was so great that he asked for it to be taken away. - "Father, if You are willing, take away this cup from Me."
Though the work was severe his attention was wholly on the will of the father. - "Yet not My will, but Yours be done." (Luke 22:42)
This focus on the maker of all things shows commitment like no other, it shows an understanding that his work was not about himself or what he wanted or felt, but on something far greater.
In three days we will celebrate the resurrection. We celebrate an empty tomb and we marvel at the power of our God. Three days after Jesus died on the cross, God is glorified.
At this point in my personal curriculum, there are many conclusions I have come to regarding mine and my peers' view of work. I am clear that we are exceptionally privileged (and sometimes a little spoilt). I am very clear that thanks to that privilege, we have so much opportunity.
Through my lesson and reflections on Jesus this Easter, one truth has been reinforced. No matter what we do, or how we do it, if we have five jobs or if we have one, the purpose is far greater than our want and feelings. The purpose of what we do has to be to God's glory - or to glorify God?
Whether I see that immediately or have to wait to see it, the purpose of my work has to be the glorification of God. That may not look the way I or the world expects it to, no one expected the crucifixion to be the thing of beauty we now see it as, but that has to be our ultimate purpose.
That purpose will impact our view of work and our attitude when working. A desire to glorify God is the only well we can draw from that can sustain our efforts in doing the tasks ahead.
So the gold I want to share with my generation this Good Friday is simply this:
"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31