Saturday, November 5, 2016
Whatever You Do, Do It For God
Our piano is being re-homed in my son and daughter-in-law's new house. Actually, their house is not new, though new to them. It is a gorgeous historic home in Richmond, built in 1900. Hubby drives the piano to Richmond today in a huge rental truck. I came a day early hoping to bike the wonderful Capital Trail. However, when I arrived, it was so windy and cold, I decided to go for a long walk instead. Fighting a head wind on the bike didn't sound like fun.
I had not yet seen my son's home, so meandered through his new neighborhood. Both he and his wife were at work. They won't be moving in to the house for a couple of months while renovations are being completed. When I walked by his house, the front door was wide open. I saw workmen at the top of the stairs as I poked my head in. Drop clothes littered the floor, dust from sanding was everywhere.
"Hello?" they said, noticing me.
"Hi! I'm the mother of the man who bought this place. If I can prove to you I really am who I say I am, will you take me on a tour?"
There is only our family and one brother with the name Kaseorg in the entire United States, so they knew I was who I claimed to be, and didn't even ask for a photo ID. With obvious pride and delight in the work they were doing to restore this beautiful home, the workmen led me to each room. They told me exactly what they would be doing. They seemed as excited as I was by the fireplaces in each room, the ten-foot ceilings, the magnificent spiral staircase and huge twenty foot expanse of windows in the living room, the lovely old hardwood floors, the exquisite staircase railing, even the old damaged parquet floor in the kitchen which will have to be totally replaced. They mourned with me that the lovely brick wall will have to be covered because it is not true to the period the house was built.
"I love it," one worker said, "Restoring these great old houses. Really love it."
His response was a contrast to how most people respond to the daily grind. On my drive to Richmond, I heard a sermon about how to handle discouragement in your daily work. The pastor said that one verse transformed his satisfaction in his job.
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men...Colossians 3:23
Our work is one of the ways in which we glorify God. Our standard in not the standard of our bosses, or other workers, but of Christ Himself. It is to Him we give our efforts. It was God Himself who instituted the concept of work. In the garden of Eden, Adam was immediately set to work tilling the soil and tending the crops. Work is the vehicle by which God designed humans to use their time and meet their needs to supply food and shelter.
We work to please God. No matter what we do, menial tasks or world-altering, we are to perform them heartily as for the Lord, not for men. I don't know about you, but that changes how I think about the drudgery of daily tasks.
Afterwards, I continued on my walk. I saw a man, obviously spaced out on drugs with a cat on his shoulder. I stopped to talk with him. He let me pet his cat, who he said rides on his shoulder all day.
"Jesus loves you," I told him. I wanted to heal him, but of course, could not.
"Jesus is the biggest scam artist who ever lived," he said, with a slur.
"No," I said gently, "He is real."
"He didn't change water into wine...he taught us how to do it ourselves and then took the credit," the man said, his eyeballs rolling about.
"He loves you," I repeated, as I walked away.
I felt totally ineffectual. However, I prayed that somehow those words, Jesus Loves YOU, would reach whatever hurting place inside that man that made him need drugs to make it through his day. I wished I could have thought of more to say, but it was all that came to mind. May God use it, and multiply the effect.
I shook the somber thoughts away. How lucky my kids are to have found workmen who seem to embody the principle of that verse about working to God's glory, delighting in the intrinsic value of their work and tackling it heartily!