SUMMER CONNECTIONS 2016: Whatever you do

SC_16 heart on wood

In January I decided I wanted to choose a verse to carry with me through the year, something to help remind me that my spiritual walk with God and my everyday circumstances were to approached as one and the same.  I knew that choosing it was going to require prayer, quiet contemplation and a lot of study of God’s Word but I was confident it would be worth it.
As the days went by I began with a single word:  devotion.  The word came to mind as I studied the Apostle Paul’s life and had the idea deeply impressed upon me of committing my whole being to the work placed in front of me, regardless of my mood or desires.
Eventually Colossians 3:23 emerged as my verse for 2016:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. 
Its a verse that has proven its worth as it has convicted me of my attitude over and over again in the past few months.
  • Zoning out on social media instead of tackling the piles of laundry,
  • “making up” errands to keep from having to remain within the walls of my own home,
  • asking my kids to wait with their stories because I’m busy making supper,
  • saying yes to commitments out of fear of being left out or forgotten,
  • spending time “here” while dreaming of being “there.”
These are but a few of the things that have been highlighted as I have allowed this one verse to challenge how I approach life.
Life is short and this verse has helped me appreciate just how precious every single sliver of time really is.  It has helped me hang onto the idea that all jobs, no matter how big or small, can (and should) be done to the glory of God.   In Practicing the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence beautifully puts it like this:
“That we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of GOD, who regards not the greatness of the work but the love with which it is performed.”
This change in perspective has led me to release the burden and boredom as I acknowledge that whatever lies before me deserves more than half my attention; it deserves my whole-heart.
This world is vying for my time and attention; attempting to lead me to believe that my value lies in its approval.  I will gladly stand on God’s Word, claiming this simple truth:  whatever I set my hands to do has purpose so long as it is done in whole-hearted worship of the One who needs nothing from me, but chooses to love me anyway.

I have found this short song by Mercy Me to be a beautiful reminder to examine my motivation and acknowledge the Source of my generosity:

Dear God,
I thank you for Your gentle leading.  I thank you for the reminders that have surrounded me, both in the pages of Your Word and in the words of dear friends, that no job is unworthy of Your attention.  Help me to remember that every action I set my mind and hands to is capable of being a genuine act of worship and gratitude to You.  Amen.
Contributed by Julie Lee