Back to Work
“Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.” She said, “Drink, my lord”; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. Now when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw also for your camels until they have finished drinking.”” — Gen. 24:17-19
Abraham’s servant had just prayed for a woman who was willing to work to come forth as the bride for Isaac. When Rebekah came forth and was willing to water 10 camels, he was simply astounded. Here is a woman that could have just gotten by with offering him a drink of water. It would have taken her all of a couple of minutes to complete this task. Instead, she signs up for hours of work by offering to draw for his camels “until they have finished drinking.”
Had Rebekah not been willing to go above and beyond, we would not even know who she is. She would have been forgotten. As it stands, when the camels had finished drinking, he gave her “a nose ring weighing a beka, and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.” (Genesis 24:22). To the best of my math abilities, this was right at about 4.2 ounces of gold. As of right now, gold is $1,290.99 per ounce. Rebekah unknowingly earned herself $5,422.16. Most importantly, she set herself up to be the wife of Abraham’s son, Isaac.
What does this have to do with us?
If we are a people who claim to follow Christ, shouldn’t we have this same attitude towards work? I mean, we seem to be a people who are just as lazy, if not lazier than the world. It’s like we expect God to bless us for doing absolutely nothing. When He does not bless our laziness, we complain. Americans, who still for the most part claim to be Christians, are quite possibly the biggest “give me something for doing absolutely nothing” group of people that exist. We, just like the world, take shortcuts and refuse to pursue excellence.
As the new work season approaches for teachers and students, let’s pray for an attitude like Rebekah. Let’s not let a single day pass where we do not put on an attitude of excellence. Let’s never complain that it is Monday while wishing for Friday . . . Life is short enough without wishing it away. Instead, go to work willing to go astoundingly above and beyond the call of duty. Why? Let’s do it for a few reasons:
1. People who are far from God are watching. When others ask you “Why are you like this?” You get to tell them that you are serving the Lord Jesus Christ. He is worthy of excellence! He gave His best . . . I’m simply giving Him my best.
2. It sets you up for blessing. Imagine you are a student. You learn to treat school like an 8:00 – 4:00 job. During those hours you set your mind to work relentlessly, going well above and beyond the minimum of what is required. By the time you graduate, you will have created a work ethic that is extremely desirable to colleges and future employers. Like Rebekah, you will be paid well. This stands in stark contrast to the attitude of the majority: “I’m here, I showed up . . . Pay me. Give me maximum reward for minimum effort. I know I never did homework, never paid attention in class, and rarely tried, but give me an A anyway or my mom will attempt to have you fired.” (Not that I’m bitter and actually had this happen to me or anything)
3. There is an eternal award that most Christians are forfeiting. I can’t say it any better than the Bible does: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
This Monday, the countdown is on.
If you are a teacher reading this, let’s give 190 days of flat out excellence. Let’s work, not for our Principal, but for the Lord Jesus Christ. Show the world the joy that comes only through Him.
If you are a student, for 180 days simply amaze your teacher with your effort. Make other students wonder what has happened to you. Make them ask “why are you trying so hard?“ It may just open the door for you to tell them about Jesus.
Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!