Unless the Lord builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.
Psalm 127:1-2 (NLT)
When we get honest, sometimes going through the motions at work can feel futile. When we get existential, sometimes work can even feel meaningless. But what if the very life we’re living now and the very work we’re doing is actually more meaningful than we could imagine? What if the “good life” isn’t waiting for us on the other side of some career goal or escape from reality? What if the good life is available to us here and now, even in the everyday?
Psalm 127:1 has a grander invitation for us to consider how we work and how we see our work: “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.” There is a futility to work if we don’t look for what God is up to in our work. When we open our minds to what God might have for us and others in our work and dedicate our work to Him, the opportunities are endless.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” As Christians, the fullness of life that Jesus offers is not offered apart from our work. In fact, it’s precisely in our everyday lives, including our working—our emailing, our meetings, our laundry-folding—where God wants to show up and offer us the fullness of life with Him.
All it takes is a posture shift. Instead of entering work anticipating monotony, what if we showed up at our places of work expectant and excited for what God might do that day? What if we prayed for God to use us at our jobs for the higher work that He’s calling us to—whether it’s praying for each person we email as we hit send or taking on a pro-bono case for someone in need?
I think that when we start to make these shifts, we will see that work is no longer meaningless. Not only will we notice the work that God wants to do through us, but we may also be surprised to see the deeper work that God is doing in us as He shapes us to become more and more like Jesus. That, my friends, is the good life.
- What’s your attitude towards work like lately?
- What might God be speaking to you about your work? How might you experience the fullness of life Jesus offers even at work?