I’m on a bit of a Dorothy Sayers kick. She packed such a punch with just about every topic she picked… one of which was work. So, our Table Talk for the week will be the following excerpt from her essay, “Why Work”. The essay was originally an address delivered at Eastbourne, England in April of 1942.

“I have already, on a previous occasion, spoken at some length on the subject of Work and Vocation What I urged then was a thorough going revolution in our whole attitude to work. I asked that it should be looked upon — not as a necessary drudgery to be undergone for the purpose of making money, but as a way of life in which the nature of man should find its proper exercise and delight and so fulfill itself to the glory of God. That it should, in fact, be thought of as a creative activity under taken for the love of the work itself; and that man, made in God’s image, should make things, as God makes the, for the sake of doing well a things tha is well worth doing.

It may well seem to you – as it does to some of my acquaintances – that I have a sort of obsession about this business of the right attitude to work. But I do insist upon it, because it seems to me that what becomes of civilization after this war is going to depend enormously on our being able to effect this revolution in our ideas about work. Unless we do change our whole way of thought about work, I do not think we shall ever escape from the appalling squirrel-cage of economic confusion in which we have been madly turning for the last three centuries or so, the cage in which we landed ourselves by acquiescing in a social system based upon Envy and Avarice {break for dictionary help. Avarice (n.): extreme greed for riches…. hey, I’ve donated lots of brain cells and need a little Webster help every now and then.}. A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society is a house built upon sand.”

Wait… was she just interviewed on FoxNews?! No, her reference to war was WWII. Apparently, there is nothing new under the sun. And we are a bit of a hard-headed crew. That considered, I want to sit and think about her admonition to “delight” in our work. Not just for ourselves, but as we teach our kids to do the same. Might we slow down long enough to find their giftedness and to encourage them to use their talents so they might find joy in a vocation. Not only joy, but satisfaction. Not only satisfaction but ministry. For the Lord uses more than full-time vocational ministers and such. Just look at the smiling 7-11 guy.

Just today, I stopped my friend Lisa who for the past few years has helped organized my father’s office/business. I wanted her to know that her gifts and talents in administration and accounting have ministered to my aging parents (no offense Mom… it’s a good thing to be aging :) in ways she would never know. Through a vocation she enjoys, Lisa blesses my folks daily as they find rest, knowing that all the bases are covered.

I also thanked a drama teacher, who, though little fruit has revealed itself, has planted seeds in a reluctant (okay stubborn) teen’s heart. Through her love of art and theater, she has “encouraged” a stick-in-the-mud to write and act out his ideas. He hasn’t made much progress in the “acting” arena. But through the journaling exercise, he remembered a very special grandmotherly neighbor that deeply touched his life. It brought regret for missed opportunities to visit her, but hope for the day he will see her again. Pretty neat that a young teacher embracing her work moved a teen to deep, dare I say repentant, thinking.

Work. Not for work’s sake. Not for amassing riches. But for delight. And in that delight we find the glory of God.

Thanks for walking the road with me.


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