Day 10

Give Thanks in Work

from the reading plan

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, Genesis 2:4-9, Genesis 2:15, Nehemiah 2:11-18, Psalm 90:17, Acts 20:35, Colossians 3:17

Around fifth grade, I discovered two important things about myself. First, I realized that I really like writing. I enjoyed stringing sentences together and creating stories with my words. Next, I found that I really like sports. Each morning, the sports section was the first (really, the only) part of the newspaper I would grab. And while I paid attention to the bigger results of sporting events, I would also dive deep into the box scores and stats. Eventually, I had an epiphany—those newspaper sportswriters had a really sweet gig. They got to watch ball games, and they got to write about ball games. Even better, they got paid to do it! So early on, I set my heart on becoming a sports journalist. 

Fast forward a few years, and I was following my chosen path, writing about sporting events, and it was great! Then, God started changing my heart. I started writing freelance Bible studies and articles about faith, finding ways to use my gifts as a writer to teach people and to encourage them spiritually. And honestly, that was a whole lot more satisfying than the newspaper business.

Christian writer Frederick Buechner once noted that people find God’s calling at the intersection of their greatest joy and the world’s greatest needs. It’s where the way He’s wired us matches up with the ministry opportunities He provides. That’s where I’ve been living for the past few decades, and I’m thankful for the chance to combine what I love with what someone else needs.

Paul must have had the same inkling when he wrote his letter to the Colossians. He told them that whatever they did in life, it needed to focus first and foremost on the glory of God (Colossians 3:17). But that can only happen when we find our purpose in Him. When we partner with God, He turns our honest labors into pure joy. We live in a culture that pushes the myth of a dream job. We’re told that only one particular career or position will make us happy and anything else means we’re “settling” or falling short of our potential. But no position is perfect because they’re all filled with broken, imperfect people. Even if you’re self-employed, your boss still has a fair share of issues and flaws. Still, God can use each of us when our work aligns with His plans. Our work can be a ministry, no matter what our job description says.

That’s the sweet spot in our lives and in our careers. It’s the place where our joy meets the world’s needs. It’s where we give thanks to God because we’re bringing Him glory.

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