Me and work have a unhealthy relationship. I’m not sure exactly why. There’s probably a million reasons that I could point to:
- My parents were immigrants and hard work was just a matter of survival
- I live in a society where money is tied to productivity and I decided early I didn’t want to be poor
- In the family I grew up in, work, especially paid labor was the great excuser – almost anything could be forgiven if work was the reason
This reality, unfortunately, has some unfortunate fruit. I can find myself using work as an excuse to avoid other, more important work. Whether that work in internal emotional work, spiritual work or just investing in family seems not to matter.
Being in relationship with someone who didn’t grow up with these same values can be a bit disorienting. The reaction to work used as a all-excuse is bewildering to me. Work isn’t viewed as a relevant excuse for missing important functions, which allows me to evaluate exactly why I’m working so hard and make sure that i’m being honest with myself.
One of the questions I have to ask myself is why am I working so hard? Of course, you should work heartily unto the lord but working all day – that may point to something else.
Psalm 127 speaks a bit about this:
“Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”Psalm 127:1-2
Too often I find myself working anxiously which at its base means, I really don’t trust God to provide for me. I think that I must create a pathway via work to provide for myself.
Lord forgive my inability to remember the many ways you’ve provided for me and and my family and help me to rest in You.