It’s a curious thing of how I never tire of gardening, herbalism and food preservation. Each of these disciplines take a considerable amount of learning, preparation and work, and one would think that after doing this for more than 25 years that I would get over it and move on to something else.
However, just the opposite is true! The longer I do these things the more that I love them! It’s strange, but I even love all of the tools and elements that are involved with my work.
I’ve always heard it said that, “If you love your work then it never seems like work to you.” Oh, there are times that my work does seem like work, but my heart is joyously busy. Throughout the Bible, work is a God-honoring behavior. Being able to work, and work hard, is actually a gift from God.
Have you ever been around someone who is passionate about their work? It’s contagious! Years ago, I was working for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture in the Agritourism program, and I had the opportunity to visit a very strange and somewhat quirky farm. The owners were quite eccentric, and their undertaking was most unusual. Despite that, these people were highly motivated and extremely passionate about their project.
I came home that night and was telling my family about what I had seen that day. My oldest daughter asked me, “Mom why are you so attracted to those types of farms?” Her question surprised me. After thinking about it for a minute I told her, “It is not the farms that I am attracted to. It’s passionate people that I am attracted to.”
It took me a few years, but I have finally come to understand that having passion for your work is as much a gift from God as having the ability to work at all. In Eccl. 5:19-20 we read, “Furthermore, as for every person to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also given him the opportunity to enjoy them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. For he will not often call to mind the years of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.”
Did you catch that? It is possible to “rejoice in your labor!” Can you imagine not being weighted down, distracted, frustrated, hurried or inconvenienced with your work to the point of “not often calling to mind the years of your life because God has kept you busy with the joy of your heart”? What a wonder and remarkable gift!
With this in mind, I sit surrounded by colorful seed packets, jars of all sizes full of dried culinary herbs, stacks of books and graph paper for sketching out our new gardens. Planning is half the fun! I can envision what each raised bed will look like and how my kitchen will smell while I am canning tomatoes and peaches. I can feel the warm oils that I will infuse with aromatic herbs and anticipate the fun visits from our tiny garden pollinators. It’s a constantly changing landscape, but it never gets old.
The work of planning our upcoming gardens is demanding and strategic, and I am thankful that God has gifted me with it not feeling like work. It’s actually rather exciting!
So, how do you view your work? Are you thankful for it and enjoy it, or is it dreadful and a burden? Are those around you drawn to your enthusiasm and passion? Does your work ethic point people toward God and bring Him glory?
As you consider your attitude toward the duties that God has entrusted to you, pause for a moment and thank Him for your abilities and opportunities. Perhaps you could even ask Him for energy, a passionate heart and for the precious gift of enjoying your work. He is a loving Father, and He longs to be gracious to you. He delights in blessing His children. Just ask Him!
“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders” (Psalm 9:1).