So, why do you do what you do?
Money? You simply want to make money, so you just work. The work doesn’t matter as much as the money does. You’re doing something and someone’s paying you to do it. Pretty simple. You fit your supply side into someone’s demand side and—voila!—you have an amicable arrangement of, “You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours.” And maybe that’s all you want through your life.
Or, maybe you do what you do because there was some opportunity that needed to be opportuned, a job that needed someone to do it, a vacancy that no one was filling but which had to be filled, so that if you jumped in and started working it, you’d likely make a little more money than just working some other job that others could or would do. It makes you feel a little special, doesn’t it?
Or, maybe you do what you do because there was something within you that wanted to be done. Something was “calling” you, hearkening unto you by saying, “This is who you are. And if you do this thing that you are, then you’ll never ‘work’ a day in your life.” Well, that sounded good, so you decided to pour yourself into it in hope that you’d experience a sense of peace and security because this is what you were born to do. That feels good, right?
Or, maybe you do what you do because there was a need and too few were stepping up to do it so that that need was going unmet. It may not be what you thought you were born for. It may not be something that makes a lot of money, but perhaps enough to have an uncomplaining life. It may not be a job that just anyone could do. It’s a noble thing, doing this kind of work. But is that all there is to work?
Maybe. And maybe it’s enough. Not so much the money being enough (and it may be; shoot, it may even be really good money!), but you choosing to do something that needed to be done but which you never fancied yourself born for yet which you could grow into and make a difference that needed to be made. Makes me wonder if that’s as good as it can get, this work thing, this thing that you do?
In last Sunday’s All Saints Sunday sermon, Pastor David Spain of Norman’s First Christian Church said, “It is not glamorous work that gets one noticed. Instead, it is the wiping of the fevered brow, the gentle shoulder of comfort, the strength to enter a place of hurt, the courage to speak where injustice exists, the hospitality of a meal shared, the patience to help another person grow, the risk of offering forgiveness, the wisdom of admitting error, the joy of compassionate action, the delight of healing a wound in another or in God’s creation. This is living that rarely makes the Facebook page. Instead, it is what Kathleen Norris describes as ‘the repetition of saving grace.’”
I don’t know what you are doing, what you think you’re doing, or how much money you’re making. Frankly, I don’t care. But I do wonder: Do you believe that what you are doing with your life is making a difference? If so, do you wonder how…and how do you know? And, if not, why not?
We all need a little saving grace, even if it’s only from time to time (although I feel like I need it all the time). Indeed, how sweet the sound!