Work to live or live to work?

Do you work to live or live to work?
A Guided Meditation 

Labor Day weekend is a great time to think about this question. Do you work a 9-5 day and set it all aside afterwards to pursue your heart’s desire?

Or, are you blessed with a career so meaningful that work is living at its best?

Whether you enjoy your job or not, how does work fit together with the other pieces of your life?  Do you experience quality time with family, friends, and God? Are you able to give back something to your community? Ever just stop to smell the roses?

To reflect on this question, you might want read about how people in places outside the U.S. view work in  Mariela Dabbah’s article “Work to Live or Live to Work?”     To read about the effects of overwork on one’s health, check out this article on netdoctor.com , or explore Are You a Workaholic?  on WebMD. If you are a business manager, you might want to read about how overworking can actually lower productivity in the workplace, and ways to overcome the problem on  Joe Robinson’s website .

In hard economic times, many people feel immense pressure to work longer hours or risk losing their jobs–and that makes it all the more complicated to discuss the question. There are no easy answers here–and I certainly find it challenging to juggle all the pieces of my own life (it feels like a moving target!).

Even so, it’s worth thinking about:  Is my entire self-worth wrapped up in the work that I do? Do people have value beyond what they accomplish in the business/career world? What is the place of Sabbath and prayer in my life? Where is God leading me, and how do I best respond?

O God,
 You created us with many abilities, gifts, and inward beauty. May we always use these gifts wisely and yet remember that your love for us is not based on mere productivity. Open our eyes to the beauty of your creation and give us the courage and time to “smell the roses.”

Amen.

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