Fr. Thomas Colyandro
For Whom are You Working?
Work is good. It sustains our living condition. It disciplines us. It makes us responsible. It allows us to be productive. It can offer us opportunities for creativity too.
At the same time, there is a growing problem with work in our modern culture. Work is becoming an idol. If wages are too low, you have to work more and more hours, which turns your time card into a type of idol where pleasing the boss to get more hours becomes the center of your life. If wages are too high, the money itself becomes an idol, turning your workplace into a home-away-from-home.
This also can happen in your house. The constant need to run errands, to make note of what's going on in your neighbor's house or apartment, to take care of yards, to fix, to remodel and to constantly improve everything around you is taking you away from the Lord.
Are churches immune from this? No way. Here, I do not mean the repetitive tasks of operations and maintenance. Rather, I am referring to the board discussions, the committee meetings, and the constant buzz of gathering, and moving objects around, and talking incessantly about 'what's next'.
The point here is that very often the work we're engaging in has nothing to do with God or getting closer to God. And it so very often has nothing to do with helping people to grow into deeper and deeper union with God.
Thus, in order to know what is truly, divinely productive, we need to ask whom it is we are working for: ourselves? Others? God? Matthew tells us this in 21:28-31:
"‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.'"
Those who people who seek to the do the will of God and work at it their entire lives are the ones who will also see the kingdom of God!