This following fable could be considered a modern day parable of sorts. I’ve attempted to source it to no avail. Many in modern self-help and inspirational circles have picked it up, and for good reason. Your perspective on what you do, and for that matter, how you view what you do, makes all of the difference as you pursue your purpose in life, and with what, if any passion you pursue that purpose.
I will attempt to tell it as best as possible while maintaining what I believe to be its original intent…
A inquisitive local business owner couldn’t help but take notice of the new grand edifice that was being built across the street from his humble bakery. The building began to take shape, and it was evident that something beautiful was being erected. One day he mustered the courage to visit the job site and asked one of the busy masons what he was doing.
Almost exasperated, he bluntly stated, “I’m a bricklayer.”
In similar fashion, the persistent baker hoping for a little more detail, asked a second mason, “What are you doing?” To which this bricklayer a little more enthusiastically replied, “I’m building a church.”
Lastly, having had most of his curiosity satisfied, the baker asked the third bricklayer nearby, the same question, but was amazed at the answer he received. The mason’s eyes lit up with life, and his tone took on a hushed and humble reverence, “I’m building the house of God.”
It’s been said the first bricklayer considered what he did for a living, a job, the second, a career. While the third viewed what he did as a calling.
You can look at what you do daily as simply a job or a career path, but what if you began to view your work as a tribute to the One who gifted you with that ability or talent?
The ESV (English Standard Version) Bible translates the words of Paul to the Colossians regarding work, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (3:23-24)
You may think it’s just a spreadsheet. You may feel like they’re just another annoying customer. You may feel this is just another sick patient. You may think it’s just another meal, service, or construction project. But, what if we started to view what we do as work for the Lord, and for the Glory of God? What if we started to view what we do as less of a job or a career, and more of a calling?
We may feel like because we can’t teach like Christ, preach like Paul, or sing like an angel that we have little to contribute to the Kingdom of God. You’d be wrong my friend. We need more architects to view what they do as a higher calling. We need more attorneys to view what they do with passion. We need more designers, more creatives, more writers, more mechanics, construction workers, IT professionals, and members of the medical community to transition from simply a job to being in hot pursuit of your true calling and purpose.
I challenge you today to begin to take an entirely different view of what you do, and live with intention. Seek to Do what you do as unto God, not unto men, not for accolades, not for a paycheck or a pension. Because you know you were created for more than just to live out the day-to-day grind.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17
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