By Kelly Carr
Dolly Parton lamented working “9 to 5,” and Lee Dorsey crooned the plight of “Working in the Coal Mine.” Bob Dylan refused to work on “Maggie’s Farm” anymore and Donna Summer sang of her friend, “She Works Hard for the Money.” Bachman-Turner Overdrive simply found a way to escape hard work altogether by “Takin’ Care of Business” as musicians instead.
Does work have you cutting a rug or singing the blues? Whether you’re “Working for the Weekend” or thinking that you don’t want to work but would rather “Bang on the Drum All Day,” everyone has work to do in some form or fashion.
Part of God’s Plan
In the past when I’ve felt down about a frustrating task on my to-do list, I would comfort myself by saying that work is a curse—the result of sin. I felt pretty content in my grumbling. I had Adam and Eve and all of sinful humanity to blame. I would just have to accept that it was my curse too.
But while listening to a sermon last year, I found out I was mistaken.
I had been looking at work wrong all along. Work was part of God’s plan before the first sin. Did you know that?
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). Yes, before Eve was created, before the serpent slithered into his life, Adam had a job to do.
After sin was chosen by Eve and then Adam, work became cursed—from then on it would entail “painful toil” and “the sweat of your brow” (3:17, 19).
I wonder what work looked like before sin changed it?
Blessings in the Effort
Do you find joy in using the strengths you’ve been born with and the skills you have developed? Are you pleased when you do a job well? Do you find satisfaction in the result of your efforts?
Perhaps those are the blessings God has intended from the beginning when he gave humanity work to do. He demonstrated work in creating the universe and then gave humans the ability to create through the work at hand. God gave us a chance to join him.
Adam was to care for God’s garden. Similarly whatever our tasks are in the day-to-day, they boil down to caring for what God has created as we ultimately care for each other.
Yes, we will be required to work hard, whether that’s in a paid position or not. We might work hard to maintain our health. We might work hard to mend a relationship. We might work hard serving the Lord in ways no one sees.
If we can remember that work was designed by God from the beginning, maybe that can help our motivation when the day is long. Maybe we can find a blessing and a bit of joy in what we do.