Monday, January 12, 2009

Do You Work Hard?

Stacks and stacks of paper. Reaching up to the ceiling. Blocking my view out the window. Covering the floor of my office. Threatening to fall onto my keyboard or monitor. Granted, these enormous stacks were well organized, waiting for either data entry or file storage, but I couldn't help but wince when looking at what I had to do. It was a lot of work.

When I used to live up in Seattle, I had an office job. Even though I had large stacks of paperwork to manage, I also had a computer, a desk, drawers, and my very own office (shared with only one other co-worker). While many people see these things as positives, I see the negative things associated with them. I remember laziness, procrastination, and selfishness.

I was lazy. I got to work in the morning and I would move slowly. Sitting in my chair and staring out the window would frequently occur. I procrastinated. I saw the pile of papers on my desk, but chose to ignore them. Surfing the internet while listening to music would frequently occur. I was selfish. I knew that my work would benefit others and advance our group's mission, but I didn't care. Writing on my blog instead of helping others would frequently occur.

I even got to the point where I posted this Bible verse above my monitor to motivate me to do my best: Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor. -Proverbs 12:24.

Now don't get me wrong, I was a good worker. My co-workers praised me for the work I did for them. They appreciated me very much. However, I knew my limits. I knew how hard I was really working. I knew the moments I was slacking off when I should've been doing work.

I think most people slack off sometimes when their boss or supervisor isn't looking. It is reasonable logic: Why work hard if your boss isn't paying attention? You get paid the same if you do the bare-minimum as you do if you do your best.

My current job at the YMCA is a bit different. I don't have a computer to work on, and I have what seems like a million kids screaming, fighting, and running around. You'd think that it would be easier to focus and harder to procrastinate. After all, if a kid starts bleeding, I certainly couldn't just ignore the kid and expect to keep my job. But there are down-times when I might chat with someone on the phone, text message my friends, or shoot some hoops without paying attention to the little rascals.

But God sees us. He knows our every thought and our every action. We can't get away with anything with Him. If He has given us life and saved us from eternal damnation, don't you think we can save that text message until after we clock-out? Don't you think we can wait to surf the internet until after we get home?

Or better yet, maybe just don't text or go on the internet at all? Imagine what great things we could do for the advancement of the gospel if we actually worked hard and focused on the stuff that is really necessary in life?

Do you work hard?