Friday, September 02, 2011

Job Description

            Between Fairfield and Corsicana, Texas, my husband saw a highway paint crew at work. At the same time, he noticed a poor mutt that had met his demise in the middle of the road. The painters seemed oblivious to the carcass and sprayed a white stripe over the top of the dog. A similar picture circulates on the Internet with the caption, "Not In My Job Description."

            Any honest vocation comes with a guarantee from God: "That every man may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil -- this is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 3:13). It certainly does bring gratification to finish painting a room and arrange the furniture back in place. Or, contentment settles in when school papers are graded or the final jar of canned pickles vacuum-seals with a distinctive ping of the lid. Closing an auto’s hood after an oil change, grabbing a briefcase to leave work, or punching a time card can all signal that the workday is over. A sigh of relief may escape each worker signaling their eagerness for a bit of down time, a tasty meal at home, and a nights rest.

            The completion of work brings about satisfaction. Finishing work means that a must-do can be scratched off a to-do list for at least one day. A job finished. A job well done.  A gratifying accomplishment.

            Plenty of the current young generations have learned to work diligently. But some of the untrained have yet to experience the subsequent gift of satisfaction that accompanies hard work. A few parents see their job description as "activities director" instead of "work coordinator." I'll be the first to admit that Jack will indeed be a dull boy if he's all work and no play. However, for most children play comes naturally, but a learning process is involved in acquiring work skills. Blessed are the parents who recognize their role in this apprenticeship.

            Employers are always on the lookout for enthusiastic workers. And anyone possessing a passion for excellence in their field of work is highly marketable and in demand. It takes many different skills and talents to keep a community functioning, and any honorable profession is worthy of respect.

            John W. Gardner said: "The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."

            On this very hot September day, when you finally wipe the perspiration from your brow and get ready to shower and cool down, go ahead and eat a healthy meal and allow contentment to seep into your soul because you have worked well. Remember that God's job description includes gifting you with food, drink, and satisfaction as a return for your industrious labor.

            Index card verse for week 35: “And [God] is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25).

            You may contact Cathy at

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