The apostle Paul would have made a great employee. He brought the experience of having worked for the other guy, he was a great leader with courage and conviction, he was a teacher with care and concern for building up and mentoring others, he was a road-warrior with no worries of travel or baggage to slow him down, he was not a complainer even in the toughest of times and situations , he could either be a team player or an individual contributor whatever the situation demanded, and he followed without question the mandate of his leader. Don’t we wish we could fill our companies with lots and lots of Pauls? What Paul also understood about work, and for sure he was a worker, was that in order to fulfill and finish anything that is hard, it takes time and endurance. He was big on the message of endurance and the importance of being able to withstand and outlast the confrontations, the weariness, and the things in life that erode and wear us down. He had a broad perspective of these things and was able to rise above them. In Hebrews 12:1 Paul talks about how to find the endurance that we all need to be able to run and finish the race well: “…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.” In order to have the endurance to finish well, we have to strip off the weights that wear us down. Like the experienced backpacker who knows that if she/he is going to get to the summit or the place that they desire, they have to carry as little weight as they can to make it there. Too much weight and they never make it. We need to think the same way. In order for us to run this race we call a career well, and finish strong in the example that we want to be, we have to find our endurance and we need to shed those things that slow and weigh us down. We each should think through what those things are and then take them off of our backs and cast them aside. It may be that it is time to remove that grudge with a co-worker, or get rid of that worry and concern about what someone else thinks, or eliminate the pride that gets in the way of allowing a question to be asked that would make the job easier for everyone. There are likely lots of weights that can be left behind or left at home before we go to work, if we would just take enough time to think about it in this way. Paul gave us a great example of how to be a worker with purpose and conviction. We can start with his writings to see what it is that we can do to be better and more purposed in the work we do. And for sure, today would be a great day to start that leg of the race.
Reference: Hebrews 12:1 (New Living Testament)