WORK: A NARCOTIC

By Mart De Haan

My heart rejoiced in all my labor . . . . And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. —Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

A friend told me that he feels closest to God when he’s the busiest. He explained that when demands are the greatest, he finds himself most reliant on the Lord’s strength. He pointed out, however, that unless he takes time for daily worship, his work can quickly become an escape.

Many people engage in activity for activity’s sake and use busyness as a device to avoid facing reality. Just as alcohol can deaden the senses to personal relationships, family obligations, and community responsibilities, so also constant work can be a narcotic. It dulls our sensitivity to the deeper issues of life.

About 3,000 years ago, the author of Ecclesiastes discovered this. He sought satisfaction by busying himself with building houses and planting vineyards. But then as he thought about the work he had done, he realized it was full of emptiness (2:10-11).

We can make the same mistake, even in the name of the Lord. Could this be the reason some of us try to keep the church running by our own efforts but forget that fulfillment comes only from hearts full of God? Are we laboring without those vital times of worship and reflection? If so, it’s time now to worship before we get caught again in the trap of working merely for work’s sake.

Lord, teach me how to work each day,
That every deed I do
May not be driven by false pride
But render service true. —Anon.

Never take on more work than you have time to pray over.

 

Devotional forwarded to you by:

UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT

NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC

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