Monday, 28 March 2011

A Consecrated Life - Work

"Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God."

We live in a society that seems to hate work. Everything we do is about trying to make work easier, get it done faster, and get to a point (retirement) where you no longer have to work. Why have we decided that work is bad? The quote above reminds us that work is an important part of life. If you consider what the opposites are to the above qualities of work, then without work, we would become lazy, be surrounded by chaos, and become self-centered. When thinking of it in that light, why wouldn't we adjust our thinking about embrace the daily efforts in our life and enjoy the work?

"A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated, but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires."

I love that the article acknowledges the difficulties about work. Let me tell you, in relation to my current work (motherhood), it is always repetitive (meal prep, dishes, laundry, cleaning, school routines), usually menial (see previous list!) and often unappreciated (the daily routines mean that people don't often understand the work that truly goes into it.) These are likely the reasons that many people today don't want to engage in work.

When I read "Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology" the author devoted a whole chapter to work, for what people work harder than those in a Mennonite-type community? Without the "time-saving devices" we have, all the daily chores take that much longer and require that much more physical labour. And yet the author found that few complained; the work was part of the day, an accepted way to pass time, an opportunity to strengthen oneself physically and improve relationships with others. He concluded that those in the community understood the value of work as most never do.

Equally important, the article asserts, is the time for leisure. Elder Christofferson notes that music, literature, art, dance, drama, and athletics are not only a way to enrich yourself and give sweet rest to the body, mind and spirit, but they, in their own way, further consecrate your life. It is true that, for me, playing music is a balm to my soul. I play music to express joy, relax, de-stress, work out anger and frustration, find calm, or just enjoy its creation. I can feel myself being lifted up, and so I can also assert that leisure can definitely aid in the consecration of your life.

Once again, after reading this section, I am recommitted to finding joy in my work. I do not want to feel as though work is something I must get through before I can enjoy myself. I want to embrace work as an important part of my life, and see how it improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers aspires, builds character and creates beauty. It really is about a mentality shift.

No comments: