In college, I was introduced to dozens of professors who were the leading authorities in their respective fields of study. Novel ideas were ever-present and it was invigorating to listen to these lectures and then discuss the topics with my classmates. Every day was a cavalcade of the intelligentsia and if I desired, I could have experienced even more but was limited by my own course of studies. To this day, I still long to return to college and audit classes that I did not have time to attend.
As I trained to become a physician, the choices and ideas exponentially grew and I lamented, “How can I keep up with all this information?” As I was attempting to do so, it was at the expense of reading the Bible. I needed to reorient my priorities and bring my life into spiritual balance. At first, I committed to spending as much time reading the Bible as I did my professional journals. While this did increase my study time with the Bible, it seemed to be an artificial separation of my spiritual life and work responsibilities as my daily work was becoming increasingly disconnected from my worship life, including weekend worship.
Everyone possesses and requires specialized knowledge to perform their everyday tasks. A CPA needs to keep current with the latest tax codes. A mother needs to carefully monitor her children’s health looking for early signs of sickness or distress. These activities are work and need to be performed carefully and diligently or others may be harmed. Through our work, we serve others and directly serve God. There should be no distinction between our spiritual and vocational training and it should not be compartmentalized within one’s life. For myself and most people, work comprises the majority of our waking hours and seeking God’s wisdom and guidance in work is spiritual excellence. I needed to learn to integrate God’s Word with my work. I cannot have one at the expense of the other, both are inextricably linked.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Genesis 2:15 (ESV)
God placed Adam and Eve to work in the Garden of Eden. There was no distinction in their work and worship of God. All of the prophets of the Bible served God through their work. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ stated this, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:29 (ESV)
God’s commandment is clear. We are created to worship God and this worship must permeate every moment of our lives. Work is not a secular affair, it is worship and honors God when we place Him first. I cannot compartmentalize my work over my spiritual relationship with Him.
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.