Why Your Insignificant Job Matters
Does your job matter?
There is a bigger picture in the working world that we often miss. Humans were purposely designed to be creative, to create art. But to create art, sometimes requires doing the things we don’t want to do. It can be easy to lose sight of the big picture and fall into the trap of feeling down on yourself. Keeping the big picture in your mind helps overcome these barriers and provide you the impetus you need to move forward.
Cultivating the Garden Requires Picking Weeds
Gardens are lovely human endeavors. They do not occur naturally in the world. A gardner must work to remove unwanted plants, vines, or pestilence in order to cultivate the soil or area the gardner has chosen to work. Depending on the conditions of the area, it may take a great amount of time and painful work before the results are realized. Weeds, rocks, and other pestilence may need to be removed. Irrigation may need to be installed. New soil may need to be imported. All of this has to be done before the single flower can be planted and cultivated.
When you look at what the Bible teaches about work, it links humanities purpose with God’s creative intentions. Human beings were made to be God’s stewards of the world and were commissioned to cultivate (or care for) God’s creation (Genesis 2:5, 15).
Genesis 2:15 (The Voice) 15 The Eternal God placed the newly made man in the garden of Eden in order to work the ground and care for it.
Human beings were not just to benefit (or consume) from the garden, but were placed as stewards over it in order for to the garden to continue to produce its life-giving fruit.
The story in Genesis, as it turns out, is a metaphor for a much broader idea. Tim Keller explains:
Every vocation is in some way a response to, and an extension of, the primal, Edenic act of cultivation. Artists, for example, take the raw material of the five senses and human experience to produce music and visual media; literature and painting; dance and architecture and theater. In a similar way, technologists and builders take the raw material of the physical world and creatively rearrange it to enhance human productivity and flourishing.
Human flourishing, however, can’t happen apart from the laborious work of doing things we do not like to do, i.e. picking weeds. If no one is picking the weeds, then the garden will suddenly become choked up and death will return.
So whether its finishing drywall, answering a customer service complaint, or simply filing reports, you are participating in a purpose that finds a place in a much wider scheme. In order for society to function, then someone must pick the weeds.
Even though you might not think your present work matters, rest assured, it matters to someone or you wouldn’t be compensated for it! But more importantly, it matters ultimately to God.
Questions to consider
- Ask yourself this question, do you complain about your work or do you give thanks for your work?
- Do you think your work doesn’t matter or do you see yourself participating in a much larger picture?
- Do you wake every day ready to contribute to the cultivation of the Kingdom or do you dismiss it as entirely meaningless?