Anyone who has ever seen the Walt Disney classic Snow White can picture the seven dwarfs singing and whistling as they march off, tools in hand, to spend their day working in the mine.
Walt Disney made this epic film shortly after the great depression when people were thrilled to have jobs. A job meant they could feed and clothe their families without taking government handouts.
That was then. Today’s bumper sticker reads, “I-owe, I-owe, so it’s off to work I go.” We get up before dawn to join the freeway demolition derby, arrive at work stressed out, grit our teeth through another day at the salt mines, and then clench our teeth as we battle the traffic back home. We endure all this so that we can pay our mortgages, save up a little for vacation, and maybe put a bit away for a rainy day.
What has happened to us? Why aren’t we thrilled with our jobs? Why aren’t we going off to work singing and whistling like the seven dwarfs?
Perhaps you are so far gone that you think the only reason the seven dwarfs were singing is because they were strung out on mega-doses of antidepressants prescribed by over indulgent doctors, who were in cahoots with Simon Legree, the owner of the mine!
Some people think that work is a curse that God put on man after he sinned. But in reviewing Genesis 1, we find that God first blessed Adam and Eve, and then gave them the command to rule over the fish of the sea and birds of the air and every other living creature that moves on the ground; to work.
Long before the first sin, work was part of the plan even in paradise. So if work is part of the plan God has for our lives, and God blessed Adam and Even before He gave them the command to work, then our attitude toward work should have us singing “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho,” not the familiar Johnny Paycheck song, “Take This Job and Shove It!”
By understanding the plan God has for our lives we can improve our attitudes, and find new motivation for our work. The Scottish philosopher Thomas Chalmers said, “The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” Incorporate these essentials into your life and you may even find yourself whistling while you work!
5 Steps to Getting You Whistling While You Work
Something to do, something to love, something to hope for. If we cannot find a way to live the part of our lives that are our occupations Biblically then we shall have empty, unfulfilled lives. Here are five steps to get you whistling while you work:
Remember Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 7:17) to be content in their stations. The one with the most toys is not the winner!
Your occupation is secondary to the fulfillment of your vocation; to be a servant of God, a light unto the world. Forget what the “world” says. It really doesn’t matter whether you are the janitor or the president as long as you do the best work possible as unto the Lord.
So the first step is to adjust your attitude to reflect your vocation while you’re working at your occupation.
It is not honoring to the Lord if your coworkers can accuse you, a Christian, of being a sluggard. So work as Solomon said with diligent hands. That way no one will be able to say behind your back that Christians are a lazy bunch who don’t carry their fair share of the load.
If you do not have passion for your work it is a clear signal that you do not love your work. Perhaps it is because you do not have a job that makes use of your talents, or perhaps it is because you are focused on your occupation rather than your vocation. Take steps to either work in your job with passion, or find a job in which you can!
Life is not as they say “A bowl full of cherries.” Often times life is more like just the pits. Paul was shipwrecked, stoned, flogged, and put in prison. Yet he counts these difficult times as “light and momentary afflictions.” Paul’s passion and his sheer determination kept him from being defeated by the difficulties that he encountered.
If he can count his tribulations as light, what are ours in comparison? Is it really that important to get mad at the fool who cut you off on the freeway, or take personally a comment that a coworker made about your department? Or are these things the really “light and momentary” afflictions? For goodness sake, do not let the light and momentary take precedence over the eternal implications of your vocation to serve God.
We are, all of us, nothing but flesh and blood. And with that frailty comes the knowledge that eventually, no matter how loud we whistle, we will fall short. When this day happens, remember to hear the melody of the future and dance to it today. Our melody is the knowledge of our salvation through Christ. We may not be able to physically see Him with our eyes, but we can certainly hear His melody in our hearts.
One Final Thought
Every morning when you get up, you have a very important choice to make. “Shall I live this day as though tomorrow will never come, and work as though God were standing beside me?” Or “I will live this day for myself, tomorrow is always another day”?
James writes, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year here or there, carry on business and make money.’ Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ Anyone then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” (James 4:13-15, 17).
Spend a few minutes every morning in quiet prayer seeking God’s direction for your life. It is all a gift from Him! You’ll be amazed at the results. You might even find yourself singing “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho” as you drive the freeway to work!
This week’s post is excerpted from a 6-page whitepaper entitled “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go!”
This whitepaper is a broader discussion of how you can begin whistling as you go off to work:
- Something to Do. What’s the difference between vocation and occupation?
- Something to Love. Is it Biblical to love your work?
- Something to Hope For. How to get the drive and determination to see the race through to the end.
You can download the free 6-page whitepaper here: “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go!”
Join the Conversation
As always, questions and comments are welcome. What do you do that helps you “Whistle while you work?”
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Category: Personal Development | Commitment