Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Day 28 of Embracing Your Creative Gifts: Creative Efforts are an Act of Service

 


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.

Prayer

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.

Action

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)

 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Day 27 of Embracing Your Creative Gifts: Bring Beauty to the World

 


Not only are we able to be creative, we also have a responsibility – a God-given responsibility – to be creative, to create beauty around us for beauty’s sake, to live with a deeper sense of purpose. – Mary C. Gildersleeve, In His Image: Nurturing Creativity in the Heart of Your Home

If you are just starting to become comfortable with the idea of yourself as a creative person, it may be a challenge to now accept that you have a responsibility to be creative. It can be hard to wrap your mind around the idea that being creative is an essential part of what it means to live as a child of God. Yet, in bestowing on all of us the gift of creativity, God also entrusts us with the responsibility to use it.

Each day, as we take part in the ongoing work of creation, we have the opportunity and responsibility to add beauty to the world in some small way. We can make our living spaces or workspaces more attractive. This need not be a major task. We can clean off a counter or gather up a bouquet of flowers and place them in a vase for all to enjoy. We can tend to our garden or decorate our outdoor spaces. We can make some cookies to share to brighten someone’s day. We can arrange a comfortable place for someone to sit and rest. These are all simple ways to add beauty and joy to our world.

Yes, sometimes we are called to add beauty to the world in large ways, but, more often than not, a beautiful environment is created one small step at a time. Many of us do it instinctively simply because we enjoy being in a beautiful space. What if we viewed those small acts with more intention? What if we understood that these small contributions are all part of a much larger work of creation?

Prayer

Dear God, please help me to embrace the responsibility to add to the beauty of the world. Help me each day in some small way to contribute to your ongoing work of creation.

Action

Make a special effort today to do some small things to help make your living or work space more beautiful. Realize that those small acts serve a greater purpose.


This is an excerpt from The Work of Our Hands. (Amazon affiliate link)

 

Day 28 of Embracing Your Creative Gifts: Creative Efforts are an Act of Service

  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...