Summary: Everyone wants to find meaningful work. Work they enjoy and work that is productive.

“Work From God’s Perspective”

Luke 5:1-11

Several years ago a newspaper article told about a Truck driver Larry Walters, 33, who had a lifelong dream to fly. He tried to join the Air Force but because of poor eyesight was turned down. One day he was sitting in a lawn chair in his backyard and had an idea. He purchased 45 weather balloons and several tanks of helium. He attached the balloons to his lawn chair, anchored the chair to the bumper of his jeep, and inflated the balloons with helium. He packed some sandwiches, drinks, and loaded BB gun, sat in the lawn chair and cut the anchor cord. His plan was to float slowly up a few feet and then gently return by popping a few balloons. But when he cut the anchor cord he shot up quickly and leveled off at 11,000 feet. At that height he couldn’t risk deflating any balloons for fear of unbalancing his load. He really experienced flying, floating around for 14 hours. The problem was he had no idea on how to get down. Eventually he drifted into the approach corridor for Los Angeles International Airport. A Pam Am Pilot radioed the tower and said, “I just passed a guy in a lawn chair at 11,000 feet with a gun in his lap.”

As dusk fell the wind shifted and Larry began to drift out to sea. The Navy dispatched a helicopter, dropped a rescue line, and hauled him to safety. When Larry got back on the ground he was arrested. A reported asked, “Sir, why did you do that?” Larry response was, “Well, you just can’t sit there.”

None of us want to just sit around in a lawn chair, doing nothing. We all want our lives to count for something.

Everyone wants to find meaningful work. Work they enjoy and work that is productive.

The fisherman in Luke 5:1-11 (Message) experienced a day of nonproductive work. They had fished all night and caught nothing.

There are many people who see their job as a dead end street. Many commuters begrudge the 83,000 hours their jobs take from their lives. Surveys of the Americans work force reveal the way many see their work:

• One third of Americans say they hate their job.

• Two – thirds believe they are working in the wrong career.

• Others find employment success, but not satisfying.

• Most suicides occur on Sunday nights

• Most heart attacks occur on Monday mornings. (Dan Miller, 48 Hours to the Work Your Love p. 48

Before you change your job first change your attitude toward your work. Maybe you need to see your work from God’s perspective.

I. Work from Man’s perspective

Work from man’s perspective often seems like a dead-end street. Simon Peter told Jesus that they had fished all night and caught nothing. They had nothing to show after working all night. (Luke 5:5) The writer of Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 expresses the futility that many find in their work: “Then I looked on all the work that my hand had done, and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and groping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.”

From man’s perspective the ultimate purpose of work is self fulfillment. You are the master of your fate, your destiny lies within you. If you fail it’s nobody’s fault but your own. If you’re having problems in your work just go listen to a motivational speaker and find the formula to help you get what you want.

Success in life to our secular society means success in work. A man might be an alcoholic, married to his third wife, his kids are on drugs, his coworkers can’t stand him, but he is regarded as a successful businessman. People clamor for his endorsement, his money, his name and his friendship. According to modern thought you can tell how successful a person is by how much material wealth they have and their professional status.

The problem with material wealth is that the more you have the more you want. The way of self-indulgence is the way to a life of meaninglessness. It’s like drinking salt water; the more you drink, the thirstier you get. If you keep drinking salt water it can lead to death.

The theme of this world is that if you can’t buy happiness, then buy pleasure.

For many men and women their job is all that matters and if they are not careful they allow their job to become their idol.

# At the end of my fifth year of pastoral ministry I was asked by the Southern Michigan Conference to give leadership in planting a church in Taylor, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.

We had just built a new church and parsonage in Kansas City, Kansas but when I saw the five acres property and old farmhouse I could envision a new church building and a thriving congregation. I got caught up in the venture and during my first two years I worked as if there were no tomorrow. With three small children at home, the fourth was born later. I wasn’t wise in making ministry a priority over my family.

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