Relying on self…

It’s just another Monday morning of beltway sprawl and crawl in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. I’m amazed that people can actually function properly after sitting on the beltway for an hour or more. I know that whenever I’m forced to sit on 495 on my way over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that it can be a bear and I lose my focus on God and begin to sink down into the ways of the world. I’m sure that you know what I’m talking about, talking to other drivers about their professional driving skills and usage of turn signals, and the occasional blinking of the headlights at someone who just cut me off.

After enduring the beltway, we’re able to get to work, to get down to business, to focus on accomplishing the tasks at hand. I find myself getting stoked up like a roaring fire, ready to conquer the action items on my to do list, ready to accomplish as much as humanly possible over the next 8 or 9 hours. It’s about then that I start to lose my focus on Christ… It’s about then that things start to take a turn for the worst.

So often, we find our identity in our work, for me it’s being a network and systems administrator for the Navy. For others it’s teaching students, or working with government contracts or developing new and clever marketing techniques. We all tend to find our worth in our work, taking pride in what we do. This isn’t a bad thing to take pride in our work, however we have to remember where we point to when someone applauds us for being the best teacher in the world or the best Oracle database developer. So often we forget that God has blessed us with an education, problem solving skills, and other abilities to get the job done. So often we forget to take the focus off ourselves and point back to God. So often we forget that our strength and attempts to be successful are so often weak and feeble in nature, relying on things of the world.

In finding our worth in our work and in our own abilities we begin to become envious of others and their skills or their ways of manipulating things at hand rather than giving it to God. Sooner or later God steps in and reminds us who’s in charge and who all Glory belongs to.

It’s hard at times to think of our personal work being something that can bring glory to God, but a dear friend of my brothers would always remind us of Philippians 4:13 –

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Sometimes tasks seem unbearable, or we attempt to do them the same way that others that we work with do them, falling short of the goal of accomplishment or not quite being able to do the job quite as well as we might have hoped. Only because we are relying on ourselves. The moment that we are able to put ourselves aside and truly focus on Christ, we are able to let Him guide us through our work, giving all glory to Him, and being able to bear any trial, tribulation or project that we may encounter at work.

As Christians, we are meant to be more than just focused on God on just Sunday. By telling others of our involvement in church activities, we need to continue to show who Christ is, not by telling, but by being a reflector of Christ’s love to them.
I know that for myself I have a hard time reflecting the love of the Lord to my coworkers, barely bobbing my head above proverbial waters in an attempt to love them unconditional, regardless of what trials I pass through at work. The moment that I put “me” aside and let Christ out of the box, internal tension melts away and feelings of hurt that I may have are released.

If we are willing to just go to Him for our strength, we might find that the day to day stress of life and work might seem to lighten.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. / “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. / “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30

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