Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Desire And Work

"Within my lifetime in England money was (very properly) collected to buy shirts for some men who were out of work.  The work they were out of was the manufacture of shirts."

If I had all the chocolate in the world, the fastest bike, the most money, carte-blanche at Trader Joes; the wish-list starts in childhood and changes as we grow into adults. Still it never goes away. For some adults it ever stays at the chocolate wishing phase. If we are serious we attempt to break down desire into healthy/unhealthy, needs or wants. My life like yours is one in process. For me part of the process comes in blogging as I wrestle in hopes that the sharing and grappling will produce answers.

In our life’s work we question ‘calling.’ Is this a western idea or are we called to specific work? Or are we to just do our Nine-to-Five and find our fulfillment outside of those hours? We can count on one hand friends who have careers that imbue their life with meaning. There are aspects of my work that I enjoy, the customer interactions (mostly), the sharing of life and knowledge of coffee. I dislike being underutilized, having no respect and given authority not commensurate with my position.

What of the rice farmer in China—or in Fresno for that matter. Do they feel called or are they simply putting food on the table? C.S. Lewis writing on Good Work and Good Works says, “…so we shall do better if we remember at every moment what Good Work was and how impossible it has now become for the majority. We may have to earn our living by taking part in the production of objects which are rotten in quality and which, even if they were good in quality, would not be worth producing---the demand or ‘market’ for them having been simply engineered by advertisement….”

We have two basic needs; security and significance (Lawrence Crabb). Ultimately these are found in Christ; in doing our work to the glory of God. In eking out our work we seek fullness of both of these. I sense that we may never fully arrive yet we dare not cease striving to do both good work and good works.

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