Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wisdom From a Life in Bloom: Part 3

Back again for more Wisdom from a Life in Bloom – taking the quotes from a little book I got several years ago from Coldwater Creek and seeing where they lead. This week, I managed to walk right out of the door without the book, but thankfully my (not so) little one is old enough for me to call her on the phone, have her navigate the mystery that is my desk, and flip through to find the page her Mama was supposed to be on. She’s also old enough to text me on her daddy’s phone, but that’s for another post.

Learning to do what we love …
Work is love made visible.
Kahlil Gibran

This one made me stop and think – especially after I went digging into this bit of poetry and verse. I like to do that – I’m the kind of person that wants to see the context; to see the frame that holds the piece that gets selected to be held up to the light. This phrase comes towards the end of the poem, and reads:

Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste,
it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple
and take alms of those who work with joy.

As someone who walked away from a job that looked amazing on paper, but left me with nothing but distaste (frustration, anxiety, insomnia, even more serious health issues, stress above and beyond what I could have ever imagined, and bonus – I wanted to throw myself down a flight of stairs every time I walked out of my office – seriously), I can tell you that you really at least want to like where you work and who you work with – not to mention what you’re working for. Love? That’d be great – but you’d better at least like it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employed American spends a little over a third of their day at work (another third is spend sleeping – and the rest is divvied up between the priorities in our life).

Have you thought about it?
Do you love what you do?
Do you love what your work allows you to do?

After spending time recuperating from the job-that-was and looking for the-job-that-would-be, I wound up changing careers and landed in an unlikely place that has started to feel like home. It pulls on both sides of my brain, is not a nest of micro-managed maliciousness, and has brought me to a unique group of slightly eccentric coworkers (and that’s a good thing) who I just click with. I’m also not pouring my creative heart and soul into a corporate environment which allows me the freedom to cultivate my writing and other creations here – which I just love.

Let me go back to Khalil Gibran and share a little more of the poem that quote was pulled from. It challenged me when it said:

And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection,
even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

This verse speaks of working for the benefit of one person. The passion and commitment of that “working with love” reminds me of so much more. It reminds me of this:

For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.
1 Corinthians 3:9

And what my father always reminded me of: the parable of the talents
– taking what we have been blessed with and using the gifts to return the blessing to God. That is working with love.

My writing is my work with love. It is my gift. It is my offering.

The work of love will look different for all of us. For some, it is the gift of hospitality and opening the warmth of their homes; welcoming and gathering others in to be nourished in body and in soul. For others, it is strapping on the missional sandals and taking the Word into far flung – or perhaps not so far flung reaches of the world. Taking the Gospel – the light of life, in action and in expression – to those who need it most. For still others, it is being the encouragement and inspiration to the tired and weary; the ones who fall into the gaps; the ones who need their heads lifted for just a moment – to know that they too are heard, that they too are loved.

Whatever it is that you are called to do as your work with love – do it with all your heart. Do it with all your soul – as unto God and for His glory. And be encouraged, knowing that He sees you, blesses you, and empowers you through His spirit to continue on doing this good work.

1 comment :

  1. this is beautifully and heartfully written . . . reminds me of another quotation: find what you love to do and you'll never work a day in your life.


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