So quickly, we rush from Thanksgiving to Black Friday to Giving Tuesday to Christmas. What would it look like to double-click on gratitude, especially gratitude at work, now that the turkey is eaten, the holiday is over, and the sprint to year-end is at full speed?
In our last weekly email, we noted that when we are thankful for the work God has given us to do, God not only rewires our brains towards the positive, but it deeply connects us to him in our day-to-day. I want to urge you to take it further than “thanking God you have a job.”
I’ve been revisiting an ancient treasure, Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. He was a 17th Century Monk, who instead of having “spiritual” work to do, was assigned kitchen duty–a.k.a. washing the dishes. In these and other “chores,” Brother Lawrence learned the secret of finding God in the granular details of our work. Here’s a quote:
We need to beg His [God’s] assistance for knowing His will in things doubtful and for rightly performing those which we plainly see He requires of us, offering them to Him before we do them, and giving Him thanks when we have completed them.
Here’s how we create a gratitude loop in our work: we beg (ask, pray for) the help of God for getting done what we need to get done. We offer him the tasks that are required of us. And then we give thanks to him when they are done.
As a boy, one of my vivid dinner table memories is of my dad asking us to pray that he’d have wisdom for a problem at work. My dad was not a missionary. He was a material scientist with a Ph.D. But he enjoined us to pray that God would help find a way around the technical challenges in his work. When he did, and he always did, we would thank God for his gift of wisdom.
This is a gratitude loop, ask at the front and end of the task, and celebrate with gratitude at the end.
Every year at VOCA, we run into year-end. We pray that God will give us the words and opportunities to share our story and raise the funds needed for the next year. And he always does!
As you consider your Giving Tuesday and Year-End giving options, we hope you’ll consider us. More importantly, we’d love to hear how you get into a powerful gratitude loop in your daily work, even find God in the “washing dishes” element of your current work assignment.
Make a tax-deductible donation to the VOCA Center here.