I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! Labor Day gives us the perfect opportunity to reflect on how we approach our work, our job, our daily tasks. Let’s take a minute and look at how we spend our days.
Are we rushing through to the end of the job, hoping just to get it done and check this task off? Do we watch the clock, just waiting for quitting time to roll around? I know I’ve been there, and I bet you have as well!
Or are we present, grateful, aware that every job we do conveys our energies, positive or negative, out into the world? Our work, our labor, is an opportunity to share our creativity, our love, our gifts with each other and the world.
Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, author and speaker wrote a great article back in 2010 entitled “Labor Day – A Spirituality of Work.” She teaches that a spirituality of work is based on “a heightened sense of sacramentality, of the idea that everything that is, is holy and that our hands consecrate it to the service of God.” Whatever we do, large or small, through our work we can become “the creators of a new universe” founded in love, compassion, peace. We in New Thought know this to be true – that we are always co-creating with Spirit. What we do matters, and, even more, how we do it matters!
If we focus on the task at hand, take it one conscious step at a time, maintaining our commitment to remaining in the present, our work can be transformed. Washing dishes, caring for a child or an elderly parent, writing a report at work, all can become a way for you to bring your gifts to the world, to make a difference to others with love.
I also find that, when I’m facing a challenging task, or one I am resisting for any reason, I find new energy and purpose if I take the time to dedicate my efforts to …. something greater than myself. All our actions result in energy, flowing from us out into our circle and wider. Why not dedicate that energy to a result you value? “I dedicate my efforts to the well-being of all people everywhere.” Your efforts, your energy, now have a greater purpose than the simple completion of a task. After you make that commitment, it’s difficult to look upon any task as drudgery!
Sister Joan writes:
Finally, a spirituality of work immerses me in the search for human community. I begin to see that everything I do, everything, has some effect on someone somewhere. I begin to see my life tied up in theirs. I begin to see that the starving starve because someone is not working hard enough to feed them. And so I do. It becomes obvious, then, that the poor are poor because someone is not intent on the just distribution of goods of the earth. And so I am. I begin to realize that work is the lifelong process of personal sanctification that is satisfied only for the globe. I finally come to know that my work is God’s work, unfinished by God because God meant it to be finished by me.
We are people meant for action, built to get up and move, create and do. As we go to our daily tasks, whatever they are, let’s remember that our work is an opportunity to bring our joy and creativity to our world, to bring healing, peace, and kindness to a world very much in need!