Many men and women are bored with work. It's become ho-hum, a routine without much appeal other than a paycheck. There may be many reasons for it. My guess, however, is that boredom is often the consequence of something that goes undiagnosed by many vocational psychologists.
Boredom is what happens when there is a disconnect between what our Maker has designed us for…….and what we are actually engaged in. Some say that God assigned mankind work as a punishment. Others leave God out of it, suggesting that work is only a means to a paycheck.
According to the Old and New Testaments, Work was created by God as a gift, as a means of worship. In fact, the Hebrew word for 'work' ('Avodah’) is, at root, the same Hebrew word that is used for 'worship.'
Which is to say that when you (those of you who attend church or synagogue) leave the sanctuary, its not that you are finished ‘worshipping’ it’s just that the arena in which you worship, changes.
It is for that reason that work is meaningful insofar as we are engaged in an activity that is 'Avodah-ish.' Work is meaningful when it is a means of worship, but how are we supposed to determine whether our work is 'Avodah-ish' or not? By asking myself two questions, the first of which is this: Does the product or service I provide, reverse or exacerbate the decay that began in Genesis 3?
Let me try that again.....
Does the product or service I offer reverse, or contribute to, the decay that began in Genesis 3? Does it restore the world to it's orgininal estate, or does it further distort it?
Let me try once more....
Does my product or service ‘reverse the curse’ that sin introduced into the DNA of creation or does it ‘make the curse, worse?’
Remember that portion of the Lord's prayer in which we pray: 'Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?'
Well, does my product or service do that or does it not? Does it make earth more 'like heaven'....or less?
While it’s not always easy to answer to that question, it is a question that we must wrestle with if our work is to be meaningful and satisfying. For, if I don’t believe that the product or service I offer is a means of restoring a broken world, then boredom (or bitterness) sets in because there is a disconnect between what I was designed to do...... and what I am actually doing.
When that happens, our wiring has been crossed and boredom or bitterness is but the circuit breaker that has been tripped.
It’s what an architect might experience who has been assigned to swing a wrecking ball on a demolition crew whose sole enterprise is to demolish, rather than restore, historic buildings.
I'd be bored....if not bitter, too.
All the best,