day 8: Your Last Day

There’s the old saying, “no one ever says on their deathbed, oh, I wish I had one more day in the office”. That statement is filled with much truth, but it doesn’t help us when we know that we have many priorities stacked up in front of us and because of deadlines, market needs, demands of bosses, etc., we feel we have too little time so we prioritize work above family, friends and sometimes God. It is not surprising that when this happens we end up in not such a happy place. We are given a good word in Ecclesiastes that helps puts our work in context. No where in the Bible will you see that we are to toil at our second best or not give it our all in anything we do. Verse 10 of Ecclesiastes Chapter 9 says, “Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom”. This verse says to me that we are to approach our work with a passion and joy as if it is a gift we are given that upon death will be taken away from us. The time we have on earth to work we are to do our best and make the most of our efforts. Notice that the verse does not say, “do it better”, or “put your work above all else”. It just says, “do well”. The verse could also be interpreted that we are to ignore work, knowledge, planning and wisdom of none it will be there for us at death. I could follow this interpretation if I weren’t faced with Monday mornings each week. Work is a reality and what we must do is not ignore the fact that it is a vital and important part of our lives, but instead ensure that we do well in our work so that we honor what we have been given and make the most of the days we have here on this earth. When we do this, we also honor God. When we honor God, our priorities are in the right place. So today when you struggle across competing priorities and when it looks like work is winning out again, stop for a moment and try to put it all in context and think through how “well” you are doing with within your work? If you can say, “Yes, I am doing well” then you have done what is asked of you and the priorities and demands just might take care of themselves.

Reference: Ecclesiastes 9:10 (New Living Testament)