Back to the Grind

It has been said, to me…

Oil Press
Oil Press

“Do what you love to do and you will never consider it to be work.”

I think, for the most part, I am doing what I love to do – and it’s hard work! 40 years of marriage has not been hard. Being a pastor and a student, oh, yeah, and a college teacher, that’s not really hard. Sometimes tedious and stressful, but definitely not hard.

When I was in Israel, we saw an ancient olive press. At this shop we learned the process of picking and pressing the olives in order to produce the oil that was used in just about everything of the day. Cooking. Medicine. Religious activities.

But looking at this ancient device, I could not imagine it being a “fun” job. 

And I thought. Sometime we think the work is supposed to be enjoyable, but how can hard labor be fun? At the oil press, the scenery never changes. Around, and around, and around. Rolling the giant stone as olives are fed to the basin and oil runs down the channels into a vat.

Maybe our viewpoint is twisted. Work does not “have” to be fun, but it does need purpose. Work, like so much else in life, is simply a building block process to lead to something that is enjoyed. Maybe, it’s like studying produces a knowledge that is used to produce something else – and the end product is the main purpose of studying.

Jesus said, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. ” (John 9:4 ESV) There is coming a day when the fruit of our labors ends in the shadow of a time when no work can be done. Solomon wrote like this:

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.
(Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

I believe tirelessly, the ant works and stores for the day when it is not productive to work and toil. It’s not retirement, just the time in between seasons. Just like we watch the many times a farmers equipment sits idle in the field, we also see the times that the equipment and worker is tirelessly doing their duty.

At the end of creation:

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
(Genesis 2:2 ESV)

I know people who used to work six days, and their day of rest was Sunday. In fact, I had a boss who grew up in the IT industry working for Brown and Root. It was the normal weekly work schedule that you labored for those 5 days, and then half the day on Saturday was spent at work also.

Work. Work. It’s off to work I go. A full day of wrapping up school activities. An evening of preparing for my message on Sunday… Down time. It’s around here somewhere….

Click here and sing with me…. Heigh, ho, heigh ho, it’s off to work we go.

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