Crush the Ego and Calibrate
I have a question. You were saying that you are working and then looking up to Jesus and then back to work, with the thoughts. I was just thinking about some schoolwork. I know it’s working with all my heart because it’s for Him, that’s what I need to be doing, but…
It’s that, it’s certainly that, but there is a way to be lost in it, in an egocentric sort of way. Your pride kicks in, and you want to do a good job. Then you start really liking what you’re doing, and your affections go to the work of your hands and your mind. There’s a way to really mess it up bad, and it’s not as “unto the Lord heartily” at all. It’s a substitute for, not a worshipful thing in the slightest. Our egos and our affections have a big affect on whether hard work in something academic or some work-related thing is really to the Glory of God. “Whether food or drink, do all to the glory of God.” That CAN be done, but not with ego and pride, and selfishness, ambition, greed, and other sorts of things working through it.
Part of it is to keep your heart and your mind soft towards God when you start to sense that your flesh is really getting into this. You need to turn your face towards God and tell Him you’re sorry and get it back in perspective, and then go back to work. But keeping the context right and the perspective right as we’re doing it is all the difference. It’s not how hard we work at it. You’re GOING to work hard at it, that’s just a given. But it’s where your heart is at while you’re working hard at it that matters a lot. And sometimes getting that perspective right, and keeping it right, involves taking a bit of a break at times.
Something I used to do a lot at Rand McNally was just get up and walk to the water fountain. Or when I was in a manufacturing plant part of the area, I’d go for a walk out in the warehouse where all the boxes were and no people were and just take a hundred yard walk, and then go back to what I was doing. Just that recalibration from time to time to where I could get my perspective back, and then go back to work hard at whatever it was I was doing. That break can be really valuable too. So even if it’s just three minutes, where it’s just time away from that, focused on what matters, and then talk to Him about it and then go back.
So those two things—get the sin out of the perspective, and anytime it starts to creep in, put your heel on it and grind it into the pavement, and then go back to work without the added ego stuff, or misplaced affection stuff, lust for, the enjoyment of, the power, the energizing affect of what you’ve learned, or who you are in control of, or what big-time decision you made that was so very important, or what kind of discovery you made, or the really bad things that weigh us down, or the really good things. If you find yourself starting to get giddy, then you know you’re on the wrong track. It’s making sure our hearts and our minds stay calibrated and in the right humble place while we’re working hard is part of it. And then, on a real practical level, just plan on taking a little break every once in a while to climb the stairs, sit at the top of the landing for two minutes, and then go back down again.