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Busted Halo
feature: politics & culture
September 26th, 2003

God on the Job

Finding the Divine Through Loving What We Do

 
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My neighbor owns two tanker trucks and supplies water to houses that don’t get a regular supply. He’s constantly working on the tankers with his helpers, opening up the tanker’s parts, and usually getting his hands dirty.

It’s hard, physical labor and it’s blue-collar work. But you can see that he loves what he does for a living.

Following your bliss or bitterness
If you love what you do, chances are you’ve experienced the sense of goodness and joy when you work. It’s like when you feel close to God, a feeling of peace.

About three years ago, when I was working late, two janitors came in to clean the office. Both of them were so cheerful, it was infectious. I felt that it was incredible that they cleaned offices and bathrooms for a living and they were happy doing it.
But why not?

In my current job, I work with someone who owns two cars, a house, and is building an apartment. All this has been possible because of his job. However, he’s mostly unhappy when he’s at work and he’s always talking about quitting his job.

I guess it’s not just about the money.

Love what you do
In my own work life, I find that the best days are when I am doing something useful or helping someone with a problem. Usually, I find my work enjoyable and I’m happy with what I do.

It wasn’t always like that though. In my first job, the first few months I didn’t enjoy working at all. Sometimes I hated it. It even got to a point where I didn’t even want to talk about work. Looking back now, I realize that I didn’t love what I did at that time.

Now, I enjoy working as a technical writer because I am able to use my experience and education and reconcile my values and my work. When I write, I feel a sense of joy and creation such that I know I am experiencing something from God.

What is godly
Claire, a friend in Ireland, says, “Personally, I think of God as being a sense of goodness and kindness and empathy and I look for this in my daily working life. Because I look for those things, I witness them in myself and colleagues, and it induces a joyous feeling of being near something godly.”

A former colleague of mine radiated happiness at the office, even on days when she was busy. I believe that she’d found the balance between her God (she’s deeply religious) and her work and consequently it brought out the best in her.

I think that if you love what you do, listen to your conscience, and are true to yourself, you can find God in your work.

Maybe that’s what a lot of us are missing in our work lives–something godly.

 
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The Author : Alfred P M
Alfred PM writes from Bangalore, India.
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