On this day of rest let me talk to you about work. Yahweh designed us to do stuff. We were not designed to put our brains in neutral and consume everything in sight. We have been wired to be producers, contributors, givers and we see it from the very beginning of time.
Yahweh didn't just create Adam and set him loose on the earth. He took Adam and gave him something to do, something to contribute:
Then the God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. (Genesis 2:15)
It's only one verse but it is an important one. We can look at the entire Old Testament and see many things that Yahweh could have done for himself but instead he brought people into it. Many things he could have done on his own but instead he had us partner with him. Is this because he lacked something that only we could bring to the table? Hardly. Yahweh is self-sufficient in all things. He wanted us to have something to do, to contribute something to what he was doing. He wanted us to have something for our hands to do.
In the world that followed, shaped by the Fall, shaped by our sin and selfishness, it is a hard truth for us to perceive. We are bent on consuming everything in sight without contributing anything. Being a producer takes effort, energy and often imagination. In many cases, producers produce for the benefit of others with little benefit for themselves, except for that incredible sense of joy and pleasure that comes from producing. Just ask a writer, painter, dancer, singer, musician, doctor, fireman, pastor.
There are so many things we can do to contribute to Yahweh's plan, a plan he has called us to partner in with him. He told us to be his witnesses, to testify of his goodness, love, of his plan of salvation. He has called us to reflect his glory in the many wonderful facets that it manifests itself through us. But it requires a perspective of giving, producing, contributing to the lives of others. We sometimes call this service and it is at the heart of of life in Christ.
We may not have a garden to tend and keep but Jesus has placed us in another type of garden, one filled with people. As frightening as it is sometimes to realize, we are here to work, to contribute, to have things produced through us. It requires sacrifice and sometimes suffering. The garden has no idea what we are doing and often is hostile to us but we have been told to love regardless, even if they hate us and consider us their enemy. Turn the other cheek and continue to contribute to their lives with love, kindness, patience, determination and sacrifice. Give until there is nothing left to give and soon you will discover that Yahweh never allows the "oil" to run out. Contribute to others as Jesus has contributed to us and you will please the only one who should matter to you. Serve Strong.