. . . work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts . . . (Haggai 2:4 KJV)
What is your perspective about work? About your work? Can you define your work?
Here’s some thoughts I gleaned from the online dictionary:
work means effective operation, i.e. “wait for time to do its healing work“
work may imply activity of body, of mind, of a machine, or of a natural force
work may apply to a purposeful activity whether remunerative or not
A few years ago, I came across the phrase “Do the work” or put another way, serve the work. But before I could do the work or serve it, I had to know what “the work” meant for me. My kids were growing up, and my identity was fairly wrapped up in being their mother and the chief home-keeper. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but wasn’t aware of a latent desire to be an artist. Creativity was always a part of my make-up, from playing make-believe as a little girl to sewing for 4-H to scrap-booking my family photos, I wanted to make stuff.
Trying the latest crafty craze kept my created self fed, but as I developed as a writer, and began to expand my craft love to mixed-media art journals, I started thinking of myself as an artist. I wanted to make art in various ways, whether collage or painting or making journals out of old books. Call it craft; call it art; call it what you will, but it is my work. This particular work gives me joy and purpose, and results!
I know not everyone wants to be a writer or an artist, but I believe writing and art making can be accessed by all with varying degrees of satisfaction. That’s why I am offering this 29 Day series, and create time and space locally for others to engage in the creative process through souldare. I would love to hear about your work in the comments, or if you want to share with a wider audience use twitter or Instagram and #29daysofnew. To follow me at either of those places, click here and here.
So back to work. Here’s your “assignment” for today, complete the following phrase.
My work is . . .
(Write as little or much as you want. Try making a collage with magazine pictures to help define your work. Have fun, and whistle while you work!)
For further inspiration, I recommend Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a documentary about a man who loves his work. (You can watch it on Netflix, and our local library has a DVD of it.)
Also if you want more context about the quote from Haggai, read the whole book. I read it today, not to understand Israel’s history with God, or as a prophecy to apply to current events, but from a personal perspective. I asked myself, “How does this reading apply to me as I seek to “serve the work”?” I found the phrase: “Consider your ways” not so much as a rebuke, but as an invitation.
I see my journal keeping practice, as a means of accepting the invitation to “consider my ways.” Come back tomorrow for some more discussion about how we each perceive our created self.