By the sweat of your brow
you shall eat bread,
Until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
For you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.
Work is man’s gift and his curse.
We start life hating work. It’s doing something we don’t want to do when we would rather be doing something (anything?) else. We often don’t accept the good that comes from it. It is pain. It has the stamp of punishment.
Yet it is one of the most important things we learn. Work is a curse completely bound up with the state of humanity.
Eventually, we come to accept work. It gives us discipline, even purpose. When we do it, we grow in the sense that we do not waste time. It gives structure to our days, weeks, years.
More impressively, work can sanctify us. If work was the curse by which man was punished, perhaps it can be a part of our salvation as well.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
Fruit that will remain. This is what we can do with work when we are chosen by Jesus Christ. Work allows us to bear fruit that changes the world forever, even as it changes us.
Every aspect of our life involves work. Staying healthy, keeping the house clean, having good relationships: all take work. But in this we see, if we can learn to sanctify our work, the blessing that it is will permeate every part of our world.