Once as I sat on a 737 getting ready to leave the gate at the airport, my window seat overlooked the luggage loading area. A large tractor had pulled the string of carts up to a long conveyor belt that ran into the belly of the plane.
A worker (I'll call him "Larry the luggage guy") stood with a scanner in his hand. As his "helper luggage guy" placed each piece of luggage on the belt that was slowly moving into the plane, Larry electronically scanned the tag that had been placed on the suitcase at check-in.
Wow, I thought. What a great way to keep track of our bags. A bag is placed on the belt, scanned and moves up the conveyor. Next bag ... scanned ... up the conveyor. Bag after bag. Someone had created a marvelous system to prevent lost luggage. (The airlines will always tell you a bag is not lost; they just do not know exactly where it is.)
Suddenly, someone standing at another vehicle hollered for Larry. He was laughing about something. Larry laid down his scanner and walked over to Mr. Comedian. "Helper" guy seemed not to even notice but kept dutifully placing the bags on the belt that continued moving into the plane. Bag after bag was moving up the conveyor belt without being scanned.
Several minutes later, Larry walked back over, picked up the scanner and started back in as though nothing had happened. Only now, about every third bag, he would turn around to his not-so-funny friend and laugh again—and miss a bag.
Although I was stunned at Larry's "I couldn't care less" attitude, at least now I understood why, several years ago, my wife and I landed in Aruba at precisely the same time our suitcase landed in Detroit. Larry must have been on duty that day.
The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, instructed us in Ecclesiastes 9:10, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might" (NIV). In Colossians chapter 3, the great apostle Paul admonishes believers: "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord and not for men ... For you serve the Lord Christ" (Col. 3:23-24b). Now, there's a work ethic that should be posted in every workplace in America. You are working not for a boss, but for the Lord Jesus Christ.
What would happen if everything we did—every day—we did as if Jesus was standing there, and He was the one who had given us a task to perform? Would we approach the job differently? Would we be watching the clock so we could punch out or count the days with a TGIF attitude? Probably not.
A few years ago, I spent time with the best-selling author Andy Andrews, who said, "I believe that everything we do matters." Check out that attitude. No matter what you are doing every day, it matters. No job is "moderately" important.
For those of us who call ourselves Christians, every minute of every day should be lived with the mental concept that everything we do matters to Him, and we are simply living every day to please Him. We should realize that all of our positions—whether leadership, staff or even the janitor—make a difference in the kingdom of God.
This week as you journey in your Christ walk, determine to have a new attitude. Have a "can-do" attitude. Have an "I work for Jesus" attitude. Decide you will not do your job to just get by and receive a paycheck. Work as if it matters—because it does. Work as if you are important—because you are. Work as if Jesus was standing and watching—because He is.
If you can develop this mental thought pattern, you can "whistle while you work." Your job will never be drudgery. The days will fly by. Your soul will be light. You will have a smile on your face. Your heart will contain a song. And what you do, while you may not see it, will matter to Him—and ultimately to the kingdom of God. I promise.
Prayer Power for the Week of January 22, 2017
This week as you approach His throne of grace, begin by thanking Him for who He is and for giving you both natural and spiritual life. Recognize you belong to Him by creation and redemption and verbally express your love and gratitude for every breath you take and every opportunity to serve Him—whether in the workplace, home, church, school or community. Continue to remember Israel, the Middle East and the persecuted church this week. Pray for unity in the body of Christ, that we may be one as Jesus prayed and usher in revival across our nation.
Pray for newly elected President Trump and his administration as they continue the transition, and ask the Lord to show you how He wants you to serve Him and use you as an instrument of love that transcends race, gender and cultural differences (Col. 3:23-24).
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