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Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Job Well Done

Think of a time in your life when you worked hard at something and were recognized for it. Maybe your employer noticed your work and said something like, "Jim is our best worker", or, "Sally is very dependable". Maybe you even got that incomprehensible idea known as a raise! Or maybe you walked away from the semester with a 4.0 GPA. (although, I would have been elated with a 3.anything!)

You know that feeling you get where you take pride in your work. It feels good to look back on hard work and see results. Even if the work itself was miserable at the time, somehow, it was worth it.

Today I taught both of my Beginner's Rock Climbing classes. I have 19 undergrad students in each class for eight weeks. Today we continued to learn about knots, setting up a belay system, and practicing their belay techniques, etc. Both classes went really well--unexpectedly well. After the classes I was checking the Climbing Team email (another part of my job) while I was waiting to talk with Mark, (my boss). I glanced at the roster of this after school program we run and was amazed myself at how many people were signed up. Just then, Mark walked in. We exchanged greetings and agreed to meet for coffee early next week to catch up on eachother's trips during break. Mark is quite happy and impressed with how the Climbing Team is doing, and that gives me that feeling described above. Working hard, being dependable, shouldering on responsibility: this whole being an adult thing is going pretty well.

On my drive home I started thinking, isn't it funny that we're wired this way? I mean, God made us to take enjoyment in our hard work. It's how we were designed. But God didn't save us this way. This seems to stand in contradiction with the fact of how we are wired: God made us to be satisfied in hard work and productivity (America is high on being productive--another post, another time), but nothing we can do makes us right with God. I've been studying in 1 Corinthians. And this passage in chapter 1 came to light in a brand new way:


 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men....
 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

It sounds foolish to this world; to save people when they're not trying to earn it, to give life to those who can't work hard enough for it. But He did this "that no human being might boast in the presence of God" God's just God like that. It doesn't make sense in natural terms, I can't explain it. And while our natural, built in desire is to take pride in our hard work (especially in ministry), we would do well to heed the Word: “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”





All Scripture taken from 1 Corinthians 1, ESV. Read it to find it!
Pictures from here, here, and here.

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