Work Vs. Labor

Work Vs. Labor

Romans 4:4-5
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Work and labor are not necessarily the same.
A distinction can be made.
On the one hand,
labor is that thing we do
which earns us the ability to live:
to pay bills,
buy food,
have transportation.
Labor can be,
but is not always,
mentally or spiritually fulfilling.
Our work,
on the other hand,
is that which we do with our lives.
Our work is not always labor,
but at times it can be harder,
tougher, rougher,
more dangerous,
and much more challenging—
but it is always fulfilling.
A life’s work can be what we do for a living
but it is more akin to
what most understand as an avocation.
Some only labor
and never have a life’s work.
Some have both.
For a rare few
it is one and the same.
it is only a matter of perspective,
and changing our own perspective
can change our labor into our work.
What is it
we do with the days of our lives?
Do we only wait for Friday
because that at which we labor
is so mind numbingly drear that
we live our days stultified?
How might we change that?
Is there some way
that changing how we view our
minute-by-minute interactions
with those around us
could change our perspective
on what we are doing
with our lives?
If we are finding our workplaces
limiting and stultifying,
or those around us
mean-spirited and hopeless people,
try understanding them
as ones who have run out
of the possibilities
we have
and are desperately
reaching out.
The time has come for love,
and if we
can change our understanding
of what we do where we labor
into a way
to offer this love,
we can proclaim it
through our responses and actions and demeanor.
Doing this can also
change our labor into a life’s work,
instead of dreaming about Fridays,
we will look forward to Mondays.
We can ask God to help with this,
and God will,
but we must change our own minds.


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