Re-examining the matter of work

Canada's unemployment rate was at 6.8 per cent for six months, but recently rose to 7 per cent.

Canada’s unemployment rate was at 6.8 per cent for six months, but recently rose to 7 per cent. I’ve spoken with several people recently who are looking for work. My heart goes out to them for their plight is not an easy one. This is especially true for certain age groups who feel that they have neither the time nor the money to obtain training for re-entry into the workforce.

A 2008 Gallup poll revealed that more than 50 per cent  of people find their jobs unfulfilling and unsatisfactory. However most, if not all, embrace a new appreciation for the job they no longer have. Times like these cause us to re-examine the matter of work.

I grew up on a farm, so there was never any shortage of work. One of my friends said that we were “worked like hired men and paid like sons”. If I have any regret from those days on my parents’ farm, it would be that that I didn’t work harder and with a more positive attitude.

In the early 70s, about the time the word recession was invented, I was laid off with the promise of recall. I brought my need for employment to our weekly prayer meeting. A well-meaning individual, following the prayer time, came and reminded me that there were 1.4 million Canadians out of work. I reminded him that I didn’t need 1.4 million jobs…just one. We don’t always have to look at the bigger picture.

Some people have what I would consider to be a distorted view of work. They misinterpret Genesis 3, where God placed a curse upon this world and told Adam that he would have a perennial struggle with sweat on his brow and told Eve that labor pains were not going to be pleasant. However, it was not work that was cursed, but the world into which sin had entered.

On the contrary, work is a primary vehicle for instilling and installing critical ingredients for character development in our lives. God Himself worked for six days and then took pleasure in His labors. In Genesis 1:31 God “…saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Jesus added, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working” (John, 5:17).

Work should never become the primary or singular source of gratification or self realization. And workaholism, like any other addiction, should be dealt with properly. However, I would agree with Horace Greeley who said, “The darkest hour in any man’s life is when he sits down to plan how to get money without earning it.”

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

PS: If you are out of work, you are in my prayers…

Pastor Ross Helgeton                       Lead Pastor – Erskine Evangelical Free Church                                                    Phone: 403 – 742 – 5020              Email: revrh@telus.net