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Day 63: Living Daily in Reality: The Real Purpose of Work

by Ernest O'Neill

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Your Maker made you and put you on this planet for two purposes - first, to do something in his universe that only you can do - and secondly, to become more like him. His only born son, who lived in Palestine as Jesus of Nazareth about 30 A.D. (our most reliable history books detail his life and words in detail) said that "every hair of your head is numbered" so, undoubtedly your maker knows your name and made no other person just like you.

 In fact, one of Jesus' closest friends said that we all are "God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which he has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them", so there are things today that our Creator has prepared for you to do, but the choice is always yours -  as Jesus implied when he said to the citizens of Jerusalem "how often would I have gathered you as a hen gathers her chickens, but you would not !".  So even though our maker has everything laid out for you today, he works with your moment-by-moment will -  just as our high-frequency trading computers can make thouands of decisions in a second to buy stocks and shares in the light of what others have bought or sold a millisecond earlier.

 So today you will walk a known way - a way prepared lovingly for you by the one who knows where every bird will fly and where every planet will orbit. But you are the "crown" of his creation, so each experience gives you an opportunity to let his only born Son live through you. There are things to fix and to complete in the creation that only you can do. The office you work in or the work-bench awaiting you or the ward where you nurse or the floor you sweep or the house you clean all have things that are to be done in a certain way that our Creator's Son can do only through you. Just as a great conductor misses the note of the smallest instrument - so the Creator sees and hears what you permit him to do through you.

Alan Turing, one of the early computer geniuses who worked on decrypting the German code in the second world war, described his work like this: "in attempting to construct such machines we should not be irreverently usurping his power of creating souls, any more than we are in the procreation of children; rather we are, in either case, instruments of his will providing mansions for the souls that he creates."

Whether we build houses or make chairs, it is really our maker working through us to complete his creation.  As you do it with care and thought, you can begin to feel the pleasure of God.   He made your hand to hold that brush in just that way - with that degree of care and precision.  As you do it, your body and mind become more like what He has in mind for you a thousand years further on in another place he has made.   You also, as you do it with satisfaction and concentration, become more like him in his faithfulness and steadiness.   All of this is at the base of the real purpose of your life - your fulfilment and happiness as the "darling child" he called you in the Bible.

    This is part of the real purpose of work, and our maker has assured us that "if we seek first his rule (or his plan) all other things will be added to us".   We won't have to scrounge around for ourselves or make our work a slavery we suffer in order to get what we need in the way of clothes and food and shelter.   We'll be able to fulfill his plan for us and enjoy our lives as we achieve what he made us for.

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