How I Used Truth - Lesson 5 - Annotation 9
In its true sense, what is work?
9. In its true sense, work is the process by which man expresses or releases into constructive, worthwhile activities the God ideas that are his divine inheritance. This process begins first in the thinking and feeling phases of the mind, then continues through man's words, hands, and actions.
Jesus recognized His part in God's plan for He said,
Our work involves first the thinking and feeling of God ideas. Then we carry out the ideas in words, by our hands, and by our actions. For instance, we think, feel, speak the quality of love, then we are able to follow through with loving actions. We think, feel, speak life, then we can let radiant, abundant life manifest in our body as health. If we are faced with important decisions, we will prove that we believe the statement of Jesus that "My Father worketh" by turning to God for the wisdom that enables us to make intelligent decisions. If we have accepted the truth that God is our supply, we will know that He "works" in the sense of being Himself the law of supply that moves substance to answer our prayers. We will work with God by thinking, feeling, speaking abundance, then opening our life to the inflow and outflow of supply.
The ways in which we work with God are varied. There are many channels for the expression of the ideas that make up the nature of God. Whatever our skills or abilities, they are primarily channels for the expression of ideas. When we are enlightened, the work we find ourselves called upon to do will never be labor in the accepted sense of the word; we will look upon this work, no matter what it may appear in the eyes of the world, as a channel for the expression of God qualities. The realization that our work is service for God removes all sense of drudgery, or of being bound. Our work becomes satisfying and fulfilling.
"Work is the general term for effort consciously directed to an end. It is universally recognized as a law of life, because the necessity for human development and progress is through self-activity. The true interpretation of work is self-exercise, self-expression. Man's work is an extension of himself -- a revelation of his inner life, both to others and to himself. No work is degrading; it is only our false conception of it that humiliates us. It is not what we do but how we do it that will advance us from something we have to do to that which we want to do. As you give and express your contribution to humanity, no matter how humble it may be, you must eventually find that place 'prepared for you from the foundation of the world.' That person is happiest who likes to see his work well done for its own sake."
The belief that the "labor of head or hands" is required to make a living is reversed with the understanding of what work really is. Life is; we are already living, so we do not have to "make a living" or to toil for that which is already ours. With awakened perception we see God working through us to bring His kingdom, or plan of good, on earth so that His will may be done, "as in heaven, so on earth" (Matt. 6:10). We come to know ourselves as co-workers with Him in the accomplishment of this mission.
We have already said that work is a process by which we use our inner qualities. If we are able to look at the "most routine job as an opportunity for expression of these inner capabilities, and if we then begin to use them, our whole outlook toward our work will change. It may still be the same type of job, but it will no longer be dull or tiresome to us. It will take on the nature of a challenge, no matter how routine it may seem. However, having reached this inner change, we may be ready for a new type of work, or an expansion of the work we are already doing. This point is brought out well in the following words:
"Does your job seem too small for you, unworthy of your abilities? Strive the more to give it your best. . . . Look upon your work as a learning time. . . . When you have grown too big for your work, you will find your way into other work. When the chicken grows too big for the egg, the shell breaks and he finds himself in a new world.
--Ernest C. Wilson
True work can never be toil or drudgery, for through expressing and using ideas we gain a consciousness of their value and place in the universal plan. We are grateful for the part that God has assigned to us and for the power He has given us to express His qualities in our daily living.
Thank God for the might of it,
The ardor, the urge, the delight of it -—
Work that springs from the heart's desire,
Setting the brain and the soul on fire -—
. . .
Draining the swamps and blasting the hills,
Doing whatever the Spirit wills --
Rending a continent apart,
To answer the dream of the Master heart.
Thank God for a world where none may shirk --
Thank God for the splendor of work!
-- Angela Morgan
Preceding Entry: What governs the outpouring of divine substance in our life? What inhibits its flow?
Following Entry: How may the day of deliverance (salvation) from undesirable conditions "be hastened for every man?