Work that Fills Us

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend a day working in a carpenter’s shop with Jesus?

What would your day be like? I think Jesus would run his carpenter shop like every other carpenter shop.  He would not use any Holy Spirit power to extract a bent nail, or rely on miracles to plane and shape the wood.  The excellence of the products produced in his shop would not come because he spoke them into existence but through hard work and the discipline needed to meet his standards of excellence. There would be splinters, delayed shipments from suppliers, difficult customers, delinquent accounts, and the occasional mishap with a saw or chisel.  His hands would bear the calluses of an ordinary carpenter. The challenges and frustrations he faced would be like any other small business owner.

However, I believe that at the end of the day your cup would be full.

God created us to be filled to the brim and overflowing with a spirit of contentment and joy. Our lives are meant to splash out on everyone around us because our cups overflow. It is from a full cup that we love our spouses, love our children and love our God.  It is also from a full cup that we are to be engaged in our community, impact our culture and be the Church.

Our work is the single greatest place where we  partner with Jesus and enter into the great work of the King – the opportunity to be with Jesus and have our cups filled with the true life that comes from a relationship with him.  Jesus intends for us to fill our cups in the market place where we spend the bulk of our waking hours and we do that by recognizing that every minute of every hour is being spent with him.

Using that image, does your work replenish your cup or deplete it? Do you come home from your daily work ready to give to others from the excess of your overflowing spirit or empty and in search of others to help fill you up?

I imagine we would end our day with Jesus with a sense of deep satisfaction and an appreciation for having had the opportunity to partner in the work of the Master.  We would have seen an ordinary day become transformed into a fulfilling, challenging and cup-filling experience because it was spent in the presence of Jesus.

Why should that be different from any other day? Each day we have the opportunity to carry out our work in the presence of and for the sake of that same Master. That’s the kind of work that fills us.