DayBreaks for 5/18/15 – What’s Your Tennis Ball?

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DayBreaks for 5/18/15: What’s Your Tennis Ball?

My friend, Barney Cargile (Barney’s Bullets) has a really good insight into living a meaningful life:

“It’s graduation time.  Across our land, commencement speeches present platitudes and promises, with a dose of wisdom mixed in as well.  In 2013, Drew Houston, founder of Dropbox, in addressing the grads of MIT uttered these words concerning happy and successful people: ‘They’re obsessed with solving an important problem, something that matters to them.  They remind me of a dog chasing a tennis ball: Their eyes go a little crazy, the leash snaps and they go bounding off, plowing through whatever gets in the way…So it’s not about pushing yourself; it’s about finding your tennis ball, the thing that pulls you.’ 

So, what’s your ‘tennis ball’? What lights your fire; what gets you out of bed in the morning?  You’ll always work harder for a cause you believe in than merely a paycheck.  Life’s too short to endure the drudgery of a job you hate.  But what if you’re stuck in a job you hate, and opportunity isn’t exactly beating your door down?  Try this: Don’t work for your employer; work for Jesus.  He’s invited you to partner with him in his work of redeeming a world trapped in darkness.  Paul told first century slaves ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men’ (Col.3:23). Even in a job you hate (I think ‘slavery’ would qualify), don’t see yourself as a ‘just a slave’ but as part of God’s ‘larger story’.  Seeing your small story as part of God’s larger story, transforms work from drudgery to excitement, because you’re joining God in the most meaningful cause in history.”

I especially like the idea of seeing your small story as part of God’s larger story. Did Rahab the prostitute see herself as contributing to the gene pool of the incarnate God? Did Ruth? I doubt it. They did what God put in front of them to do and then left the results up to him. I think that when the epic of our existence is played out, we will be surprised to find out what meaning some of our seemingly insignificant actions really had.

PRAYER: Jesus, how desperately we need single-minded focus to recall that in the final analysis, we work for no one but You!  Help us find meaning in all we do as we learn to do it for Your glory!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 05/16/13 – The Sweepings With the Wheat

DayBreaks for 05/16/13 – The Sweepings With the Wheat

NOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25.  Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence!  Thank you…I cherish your prayers!  You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) until I’ve returned.

2010july 293Amos 8:6 – “…buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

This verse from Amos comes in the midst of a series of accusations by the Lord against the northern ten tribes.  God was enumerating the offenses of Israel for which they would be punished by going into enforced exile under the Assyrians.  The greed of the people had become so great that instead of being moved with compassion toward the plight of the needy, that they would make the needy slaves in order so the needy could have shoes instead of just giving them shoes!

But that’s not all.  The Lord goes on to accuse them of “selling even the sweepings with the wheat.”  What does this strange saying mean?  I think it means this: wheat was sold by volume or by weight.  Those who were selling the wheat would sweep it up from the threshing floor and it would include dirt, dust, perhaps even rocks and pebbles.  They didn’t bother to separate the trash from the wheat, and they sold it by weight/volume as if it were all wheat!

I think that there is a real application to our day and age.  As far as most of us are concerned, we don’t sell wheat for a living, so we can’t apply this literally to our lives.  But we can apply the principle.  Any of us who work for someone else are selling something: our time.  We “sell” our time daily in exchange for money.  What I’m wondering is how pure our “time” is.  Are we giving our employers a solid 60 minutes each and every hour of productivity?  If we aren’t, we are like the people in Israel long ago who sold some wheat, but also the trash and sweepings that made it less than a full measure of what was being paid for.

Today you are selling your time for a wage.  How honest are you in your dealing with your employer?  Give full value for what you are paid.  God will be glorified through your work when you present it honestly to your employer and to Him!

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 08/27/12 – If God Knows

DayBreaks for 08/27/12 – If God Knows

 

(NOTE: Galen will be traveling for the next week and will have very limited access to email to respond to comments/questions.  Thanks for your understanding!)

Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”

Sometimes I think it would be much easier to actually work for the Lord, not for men.  And just as I begin to think that, there’s a part of me that shouts: “Galen!  You DO actually work for the Lord!”  You see, it is He who will judge our work habits as well as our honesty, faithfulness and service.

A. J. Cronin wrote about a district nurse that he had known when he was engaged in his medical practice.  For over 20 years, alone, she plied her healing skills to all within a 10-mile radius.  “I marveled,’ he says, “at her patience, her fortitude and her cheerfulness.  She was never too tired at night to rise for an urgent call.  Her salary was most inadequate, and late one night, after a particularly strenuous day, I ventured to protest to her, ‘Nurse, why don’t you make them pay you more?  God knows you are worth it.

If God knows I’m worth it,” she answered, “that’s all that matters to me.”  She was working, not for men, but for God.  And when we work for God, prestige will be the last thing that enters into our mind, for we will know that even our best is not good enough for him.”  (Wm. Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, The Daily Bible Study Series)

What a wonderful attitude this nurse demonstrated!  We all like recognition – we all seek it and to varying degrees, feast on it.  But this industrious woman seems to have found the secret of the recognition that really matters.  Think about it: if God were to praise you, could anyone else’s praise mean more to you?

It is hard to work as unto the Lord, for it appears that he has little say in our merit increase or compensation level, right?  Wrong!  He has everything to do with it!  He rewards the faithful (1 Sam 26:23) – “The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness.”  You see, it is only the review that God fills out that ultimately and finally matters.  It may not mean more money in this world, but He has promised to reward those who are righteous and faithful!

What will his review of your work habit and commitment say?

PRAYER: Lord, some day are very hard to remain tuned in to the fact that we are working for you.  The first work day of the week, in particular, can be very hard to approach with thankfulness, joy and energy.  Let us see you in our boss and seek to please you with our work offering this day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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