work ethic thoughts on a sleepy brain

Posted: March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

Though I did some paid farm work when I was in junior high, my first official, filing-a-W2 job was when I was 16.  I worked at the Tastee Freez, which was only the teenage social hub of our little rural scene.  I was tickled to get the job.

There, I learned that I need never just stand around.  My boss liked us to be cleaning and restocking anytime we weren’t waiting on people.  And for the most part, we were pretty good about that, though it was like most jobs in that we figured out how much grace was built into the system and then abused it somewhat gleefully when our boss was off the premises, with gossip and snacking and the occasional ice fight.  Hey, we were teenagers.

I love it that I started out with a good boss who encouraged a work ethic.  I have found in the years since that first job that it’s a good precedent, this business of keeping busy at the workplace – of looking for ways to always be working.  i find that work is more fun when I give it my best attention. That it is more fulfilling.  That I am appreciated more by coworkers and promoted more by supervisors. 

That extra bit of giving my best has helped me institute new systems in my work processes and spaces.  Has created space for me to find ways to train myself, using free resources, to make myself a more valuable employee.  Has stirred in me new vision to expand my roles in various settings. 

Oh, I’ve been the least-possible-effort girl more than once in work settings.  It’s not that I’m so wonderful that I’d never slack.  I’ve done some hard core slacking on some jobs.  All I can say about that is this:  slacking never made me love my job better or hate it less, never made my days go faster or better, never made me feel good about myself or others around me. 

What if we were to stamp this “always be working” ethic all over our entire lives, and not just our workspace?  What if giving the best we know how to offer were our constant agenda, rather than angling to see what is the least amount of effort we can get away with expending?  Wouldn’t that fill the bill for the scripture that tells us to do whatever we do as unto the Lord? 

I love imagining what the world would be like, if we all walked this way.  If we gave ourselves for the love, the passion, and never for the “shoulds.’  If we really presented our lives, our bodies, as living sacrifices to the One who has given us more than we EVER have a shot of repaying. 

I wonder.   I don’t reckon we’ll get to see the fullness of this, this side of heaven.

But until then, may we be practicing for such a time and place. 

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