It’s Okay to Embrace the Busy, it’s Part of God’s Plan

“Work” Isn’t a Bad Word, and it Shouldn’t be Used That Way

Last week I wrote about the topic of being busy and it’s current prevalence in conversations. This frequency was confirmed in a recent Ray Edwards podcast, “5 Reasons Why You Need to Take More Time Off”. My intent is not to throw Ray under the bus, on the contrary, he starts off by saying, “Make hay while the sun shines.” Having grown up on a farm, I can totally identify with this.

Growing up on the farm explains a lot about my work philosophy.

I think the issue of being busy, working too much, or taking time off, comes down to a couple of things. First is a societal push to have life goals of long weekends, vacations and retirement. Second is the meaning of words and how we use them.

It seems the subject of working less is being pushed more and more. I’ve heard Michael Hyatt speak of taking long sabbaticals. The internet, books and social media are full of ideas for working less and less, some say the goal should be 4 hours per day.

I don’t know but this just seems crazy to me.

I think the key to this issue is in understanding ourselves and finding the balance in what we do. This will be different for everyone. Balance doesn’t mean resting the same amount of time that working. It means resting proportionately to working.

I base my work/rest balance on God’s 6-1 ratio. He worked six days and then rested one. He completed His work and then rested. His focus wasn’t on resting, it was on accomplishing His goals. When that was done then He rested. And He loved what He was doing.

We definitely need rest…the question is what is rest and how much is needed?

I remember when people would say they were bored, I never understood that. How can someone be bored when there is so much important work to do. I think boredom is rooted in not having found a purpose. That or they were just lazy.

God’s Word makes it very clear that we are instructed to work hard and put our best effort forward. The Bible, especially in the wisdom-filled book of Proverbs, speaks often of the cause and effect relationship of hard work and rewards as well as laziness and ruin. Bible Study Tools, Bible verses about laziness, Knowing Jesus, Open Bible.

Part of the problem is in the misuse of words.

Like the word “work” for example. People use this word as if it were a punishment. It’s as if they’ve been bad so now, they have to go to “work” rather than being able to play. The definition of work is activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

Sign me up…this sounds like something I would like to do.

Work becomes a problem when it causes us to become so focused on one thing that we lose sight of other things in life. (Take it from a recovering workaholic.) Work hard on all the different areas that make up a well-balanced life not just a job.

  • Build my relationship with God (Spiritual)
  • Build a family legacy (Family)
  • Help people build their dreams (Vocation)
  • Build wealth (Financial)
  • Build the best me (Personal Well-being)
  • Help others build a better them (Ministry)
  • Help build a better world (Social and Community)

The key is to find the work that you love and do it. This is where the real problem lies. Most people have settled for a mondain existence rather than finding their God given purpose.

Get clear on what God wants you to do and get BUSY, WORKING on that!

Action is Required if You’re Going to Accomplish Anything

A Plan is a Great Place to Start, But Won’t Build the House

I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to plan than to do. Last week we discussed how overthinking things slows down our plans. The thinking part is important, but it alone isn’t going to accomplish our goals.

The week before we examined how learning can keep us stuck and prevent us from moving forward. Like thinking, learning is also essential to moving forward toward our dreams.

It became evident that while both of these are great, neither will work without action.

We must “do” if we’re going to succeed.

On the other hand, just doing has issues as well. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish how will you know if what you’re doing is the right thing.

If you want to build a new home, you need a plan before you start. Granted, it doesn’t have to be a full blown super detailed set of blueprints. It could even be just in your mind, but there’s still a plan.

The problem is that it’s hard to clearly share plans when they’re only in your head.

So, if there are any others you plan to share the home with…it might be a good idea to find a clear way to communicate your plans.

The key to accomplishing the things you want is in understanding how planning and doing work together. Napoleon Hill summarizes this well with his quote…

“Plan your work and work your plan.”

Building a house is a great example for building anything, whether that’s a building, a business or a life. You need to start with the end in mind. What is it’s purpose? What will it look like when it’s finished? What needs to be done to achieve that outcome? In what order do these things need to be done? This is the planning part.

The doing part comes with some questions as well. Are you going to do it by yourself or hire professionals? Do you know how to do it or are you going to need to learn how? How long is it going to take if you do it yourself? Do you have that much time?

The bottom line is that you need to be clear on what it is that you want to accomplish and then determine the best way to get there. Once you’ve figured this out get started building.

If you don’t get started, you’ll never get finished!

It’s Up to You to Figure Out What Your Purpose Is

Once You’ve Determined That…Live It to The Fullest

We have all been given a specific purpose. A unique thing that only we have. The hard part can be figuring that what it is.

I don’t know that we will ever figure it out fully, this side of heaven.

The important thing is to be vigilantly looking every day. To focus on uncovering the “thing” God has put us here for. The Architect of the world has given us a “Blueprint” for building the life He designed for us. It is up to us to study that print and build our lives accordingly.

In Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus tells about a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. The king sent his servants to tell those who had been invited that the feast was ready. The people who had been invited were too busy and went on about their lives.

So, the king invited other less admirable people, as per the world’s standards. When the king came to greet the guests, one was not dressed for the wedding. The king asked the man why. The man said nothing. The king had him thrown out.

This seems a little harsh. 

The custom of the day was that when people came to a wedding, they were given wedding clothes. So, it wasn’t like the man didn’t have everything he needed. He just chose not to use them. On top of that, he ignored the king.

This man wanted to enjoy all the benefits of the wedding feast with out putting on the clothes. Too many of us approach life in this same way. We’ve been invited to the feast and given everything we need to come and enjoy it. But we ignore the King and the wedding clothes that He’s given us.

We want the benefits without doing the work.

Take time to read and study Life’s Blueprint. Discuss the plans with the Architect. Determine what your purpose is and build the life God has designed for you.

I Want You to Finish It for Me

 

 

 

It’s Important to Finish Strong

 

We often are consumed by the accumulation of all the little pieces that make up our daily lives. This narrow view of things causes the neglect of seeing anything more.


That’s not to say we should disregard the small things; details are important. We just need to be sure that we have a clear view of the end game, of what our ultimate goal is. The little things need to be working together to move us toward finishing strong.


What does finishing strong look like?

 

 

Finishing strong means never quiting. It means aligning our goals with God’s plans for us, both individually and collectively. In John 17:20-26 Jesus prays His last prayer for His disciples and for us. Why would He pray this as His last prayer? He was preparing them and us for what was and is ahead.

 

  • He wants us to be ready to do our part. The saying, “Next man up” is common in football. This is to say that if someone gets hurt and can’t do their part, someone needs to be ready to fill that spot. We are supposed to do our part to win the game of life.

 

  • He has entrusted us with this work. He has given us each a position to fill. We may not feel qualified to be on the team, but God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He has given each of us a specific purpose. Our part is to figure out what it is and use it.

 

  • There’s more work to do. This is a big game and there’s a lot to do, but together we’ll get it done. This prayer was like our locker room pep talk. Let’s get out on the field and play the game well.

 

  • We need to work together. We are a team. There is strength in numbers. Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. It’s like the two-horse rule. (link) A single draft horse can pull 8,000 pounds so it would stand to reason that two draft horses could pull 16,000 pounds. But they can pull 24,000 pounds. That is three times as much! We each have our own individual purpose and working together can accomplish exponentially more.

 

 

We have been shown the game and given the rule book. Now it’s up to us to decide if we’re going to play or not.

 

 

I’m ready and willing to be the “Next Man Up”, are you?

 

The History of Labor Day and My Problem with It

 

 

Labor and Work…What’s the Difference?

 

Labor Day is one of my three favorite holidays each year. Christmas being my favorite, which is no big surprise. Labor Day and New Year’s Day are tied for the second spot. These two are not typically ranked in most people’s top three.

 

My extended family celebrates both holidays in an almost identical way. They start with parades in the morning and conclude by spending the rest of the day, into the evening, playing games, eating and enjoying time with family. This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy all the other holidays, because I do. These three are just my favorites.

 

As I was looking forward to the upcoming Labor Day I began thinking about the reason behind the celebration. Labor Day was started as a way to show appreciation for the hard-working labor force in America in the late 1800s. We often forget the reasons behind holidays. We need to remember the reason for this and all holidays and not just look at it as another reason to barbeque with friends or go to the lake.

The problem I have with Labor Day comes from the perception that there is a separation between labor and management / employees and business owners.

There’s no doubt a difference in the roles of these two groups, but too often it is seen as a confrontational battle between the two. It is a mindset of our side against theirs. There certainly have been and still are situations where this is true.

It doesn’t have to be this way. This attitude is a problem for both groups. It’s a view that there is a limited amount and if I don’t get my piece of the pie, there may not be any left. This scarcity thinking in a world of abundance isn’t beneficial to either side. God will provide enough for everybody.

If we would quit viewing labor and management as two competing entities and instead look at both as on the same team working together, both would benefit.

 

Having been on both sides of the employee/owner relationship I can tell you that both work hard to achieve success. If all involved work hard together toward the same goal everybody wins. It is easy to look at other people and think they have it easy, but rarely is that the case.

The definition of labor focuses mainly on the physical while work (link) refers to both physical and mental actions. Work seems less divisive than labor. We can and should work together toward the same goal.

On the first Monday of September this year I’m going to celebrate WORK instead of labor.