We serve God, of course, by doing his will, but we also serve others with our creative work. Work creates value for others and is always at the service of others. – Jared Dees, Praying the Angelus: Finding Joy, Peace, and Purpose in Everyday Life
What does it mean to be a servant? Our modern world does not often hold servants in high esteem. Everyone is on a quest for power and influence. We may not even notice the people around us who do the most menial jobs. Their work is often invisible. They fade into the background while others shine in the spotlight. We never seem to notice when places are clean and neat. We simply expect them to be that way. It is when those jobs haven’t been done that we pay attention!
Yet, no matter what role we play in the world, no matter what vocation God has called us to, we are all called to use our gifts in service to God and others. If what we do is ultimately serving no one but ourselves, we are failing in our central Christian mission to love God and others. While we do not always love our work in the sense of being thrilled to be doing it every day, our work should be an opportunity for us to show our love for others. It should make others lives better, which in turn allows them to live more fully and love and serve others through their work as well.
We are all connected and live in relationship with others. Our work is an important part of that relationship. Perhaps we need to develop a deeper appreciation of service. Perhaps we need to take a closer look at our work to determine how we are fulfilling that call to service.
Jesus, you showed us how to serve others with love. Help me to imitate you. Help me to avoid the temptation to seek power through my work and instead seek to serve others.
Pay attention to what you do today. How are you serving others through your work? How does your work ultimately help others? Can you embrace service to others as the goal of work? Does this change how you view your daily tasks?
This is an excerpt from The Work of Our Hands. (Amazon affiliate link)