I tell you – what this man said below is true! Joy is a gift and work can be that gift – a joy! When work isn’t just mere “work”, we can chase the dread away and welcome the grace in. I’ve seen this joy lighting up a whole countenance, I’ve witnessed this joy elevating a real gloomy face, because truth be told, this joy is a Person and this gift for a merry heart comes from a relationship with the Person…I’m challenged in my own attitude about how I view my own work, and am so thankful for a cheery note from the Husband.
Guest Post by The Husband
Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
It’s almost embarrassing.
I really really enjoy my work. To the point that people that work around me wonder what I’m doing in the office because there’s so much laughter leaking out of that fairly thick, almost sound proof door.
And it’s been like that for years.
I still remember one of the other staff who was in the office next door would comment on how he could hear me laughing the whole day.
I don’t know exactly how good I am at what I do, but I sure do enjoy doing it.
I see a lot of people who go about their work days with a great deal of pride, determination and even a sense of obligation and purpose, but to be honest, there aren’t a lot of people who seem to be over joyed that they are doing what they are doing.
I’m not sure that everyone should be enjoying working as much as I do, but I’d like to share some reasons that make my typical work day enjoyable.
The first thing is that I think I’m in the job that He wants me in.
Years ago, before I chose this field, I was sitting in my car at a church camp. After a few hours of worshipping God, I heard Him speak the profession I’m in now. Unmistakably. And he added the peace in my heart.
Rewind about 4 years before that when I was a university student driving back from prac, a specific passage from the bible spoke to me to the point that I was in tears.
In this current work I’m doing, I know that God has lead me here. Because of that, I know that I’m in the right place at the right time doing what He has called me to do.
No – I don’t necessarily get to preach the gospel every day at work, and I don’t have people coming up to me every 5 minutes asking me about my faith. But this work that I do in itself is precious to God, and I know that I can shine For Christ through the joy I have in the work place.
After telling my wife for years that I find an unusual amount of joy doing work each day, I then realised that it wasn’t just because I was doing a specific kind of work. Because over the years I’ve had to do lots of different types of jobs, and looking back, I’ve really enjoyed most of the jobs no matter what they were.
Of course knowing that God has called me into a specific field is the key.
But I also realised that before I was called into one field – I loved every job I did.
Because I loved the relationships with people. I learned that to enjoy work (presuming you work with some human interaction during the day), you have to enjoy the people around you (and conversely people need to enjoy Your company!). You have to understand that people matter to God, and not let the task at hand get in the way of caring about people. Little conversations are actually really important. Asking how people are going is just as important as getting things done.
Understanding and caring for people requires a real understanding of how the other person must be feeling at any particular point in time. For example, I quickly realised that the staff about to start a shift are more anxious and cranky than those that are finishing. So being understanding of things like that helps to build relationships.
Being able to see the lighter side of things and voicing my observations in a helpful way, has also been of great help in enjoying each work day. Noticing little quirky things – like strange logo designs, or acknowledging frustrations in processes or paperwork – helps to lighten the mood with people I work with. For example, having a joke with people over the telephone doing routine things makes the day fun. I think about how boring it must be for the person on the other side of the phone doing the same repetitive phone calls all day, and I just want to brighten up their day!
I also love commenting on awkward moments – like when I try to shake someone’s hand, but they were too distracted to notice. Or when you’ve just been to the bathroom and washed your hands and it’s still slightly wet and you go to shake someone’s hand. Or when they sit down in your office chair accidentally. It’s all great material to bring a smile to people’s faces.
Asking how I can make other people’s jobs easier and then following through helps.
It also helps to be efficient and good at your work. Otherwise all that light-heartedness can be perceived as you being distracted!
Even stressful moments – like when the printer Jams up, can be an opportunity to connect with people as they watch you struggle. You get to show what you’re made of in those moments. Will You be cranky monkey? or Will you be able to poke fun at yourself and move on with the day?
So I think there are tonnes of moments in the typical work day that makes the day fun and can help make me someone that people like being around. Having the love of Christ to be able to care for others makes any “day in the office” a truly enjoyable experience!