“Joy is God in the marrow of our bones” (Eugenia Price).
No matter what new sorrows and tribulations life brings, underneath it all is the joy of God.
No matter how difficult the days are or how hard-pressed on every side we are, joy comes from a place deep down that trouble can’t touch.
No matter how dark the valley gets, God’s joy can always be found in abundance.
All these momentary afflictions pass, but the joy of the Lord is forever.
Joy is like manna. Every morning we make the choice to seek it out and take hold of it with both hands.
Joy is interwoven into the fabric of both the deepest grief and the wildest laughter.
For those who know where to look and to Whom to look, joy is everywhere.
“Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls” (Mother Teresa)
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet” (Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life).
“Some of you say, ‘Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed” (Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet).
“When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music” (Kahlil Gibran).
There’s a famous little book written centuries ago called Practicing the Presence of God that came out of a monastery. The author was a man whose livelihood was as a cook and dishwasher.
There has been a false dichotomy between the sacred and the secular. There has been an underlying and unspoken rule that you can only worship in places considered sacred and holy. You can only worship on Sunday.
The truth is that the admonition is to do all that you do to the glory of God and to offer your bodies as living sacrifices as your act of worship. That includes your work day.
When you view your job not as drudgery and a paycheck but as a calling and a mission field, it changes the way you work. You go from doing the bare minimum to giving your very best. Your job goes from performing tasks to serving people.
You may not be in your dream job. You may wish that you could be someplace– anyplace– else other than where you are. The best advice I can give to you (that did not originate with me) is to bloom where you’re planted. Thrive in your present circumstances by learning to cultivate a heart of gratitude.
I can certainly attest to what it’s like to go through long periods without having a job. Not only does it drain the bank account but it affects your sense of self-worth after a while.
The best testimony I know of is someone who does everything with joy and gratitude. That’s what makes people stand up and take notice. No one cares about your faith if you have a bad attitude and a poor work ethic.
So make your workplace an altar and your job an offering.
“Work is love made visible” (Kahlil Gibran).
That one little sentence jumped off the page at me while I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of Radnor Lake State Park.
There’s so much profound depth in those five words that both comfort and convict.
How can my work be love made visible if I come to it with a bitter attitude and an ungrateful heart? How can I be loving in my actions and yet hateful toward others at the same time?
The truth of the matter is that all work can and should be sacred. All work is an act of worship. The question is whether it will be like Abel’s acceptable offering or Cain’s rejected offering.
Work is part of my witness. If I see my vocation as a way to serve others either directly or indirectly, then even the menial parts of my job take on a whole new meaning. There is no wasted effort, nothing meaningless. All of it means something if I do it out of love for God and for others.
The Bible says that whatever you do– whether you’re a lawyer, doctor, plumber, or a janitor– do it all to the glory of God. Do everything as an act of worship to show forth the goodness of God to those you work with and those you work for.
I love what Kahlil Gibran says next:
“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.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night”