Tag Archives: peace

Work and Rest

Hey! You may notice a new voice. This post was written by Joe Work. (Which, can we all agree, is a good name for writing on this topic?) Joe is a UT graduate working in Technical Sales for Oracle. You can follow him on twitter at @JoeWork

Sometimes I’m astonished by the things that cultures were willing to lay down at the altars of their gods. They sacrificed their time and energy even their families to gods of empty promises. But then I remember how often I do the same thing.

We see work as an endless treadmill. We’re running and running and running to keep up with the pace, to stay plugged in and connected. Forty hours a week is a myth.

If we aren’t at work, we’re worrying about it. Sometimes, we simply like feeling busy.

Ultimately the issue is in our hearts. Work can become an idol. And sometimes, it’s the idol that we sacrifice to the most. We give up our time and energy, friends and family, to worship our jobs.

What do you find yourself laying down at the altar of your career?

Worshipping our work leads to restlessness. We begin to feel tired, no matter how much sleep we get or coffee we drink. The world tells us to produce more and work longer. It promises us satisfaction if we just work a few more late nights or refuse a couple vacation days. It promises us joy once we get there. But we never actually get there. That’s the nature of sin. Empty promises await for all of those who bow at the feet of their jobs. Sounds like Hell, doesn’t it? Continuous striving to attain a prize that you never actually reach. Building our sandcastles only to have the tide come in and wash them away.

We worship our jobs and starve our souls, seeking and searching, never ceasing, never resting.

But restlessness is not a characteristic of our God, nor of his followers.

He rested while creating the universe.

We can rest too.

Fuel for work

(You are going to think this doesn’t apply to you. It absolutely does.)

You will be tempted to work through the holidays. You will be tempted to work Christmas morning even. Maybe for your day job, maybe not. But the temptation to work will be alive and well.

  • Cook breakfast that will impress everyone
  • Be winsome and funny
  • Fit in at dinner
  • Make sure everyone knows you did ________
  • Make sure no one knows you did ________
  • Hide this
  • Embellish that
  • perform, perform, perform
  • Think about work
  • Check email
  • Check twitter
  • Take 15 pictures, post one to instagram
  • Post one to facebook
  • Write a comment about how great everything is
  • #blessed
  • perform, perform, perform
  • Worry about how your comment was taken
  • Worry about how your gift was received
  • Worry about who gave you this and who didn’t give you that
  • Worry about what that means about how they think of you
  • Worry about what it all means about you
  • perform, perform, perform
  • work. work. work.

Christmas morning is God’s gift to you to lay down your work. Not just your “day job” work, but the work beneath the work. The work of defending and protecting yourself. The work of modifying and correcting your image. The work of proving your worth (to others and to yourself). The work of striving for _________. The work of earning the love of those around you.

Christmas morning is the ultimate gift of rest and provision and peace and comfort.

Jesus is the ultimate gift of rest and provision and peace and comfort.

His birth (and his death and resurrection 33ish years later) are the fuel for your rest this coming Thursday. That rest, deep soul rest, is the fuel for your work every day forward.

This Christmas, rest in God’s completed promise, wrapped and laying in a manger. Rest because God told you to. Rest because if you know Jesus, you don’t have to work.

More than anything, I hope you get that peace this Christmas. I hope your heart and mind and soul rest in the good news that God wrapped himself in flesh to be with us. I hope you find the rest that can only come from knowing that because of Jesus, God loves you specifically and unconditionally.

I hope I get that rest too.

Merry Christmas. (Restful Christmas.)