"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart"
ac·tiv·i·ty - /akˈtivədē/ "a thing that a person or group does or has done" - Oxford Dictionary
I teach about Know, Decide, Act: Know new things, Decide what will be good to do and then take action. Well, there's been talk about "activity"; phrases like "we shouldn't do activities". The only living things that aren't active, are dead. (let that sink in) But it is true, we shouldn't do aimless, pointless, mindless activities. Is it so simple, who is to judge?
Let's give a thought to washing dishes as an activity:
For some reason, we have to wash the dishes every day. Well, the reason is simple, if you want to eat on clean plates with clean utensils, someone needs to wash.
So an activity itself is neither bad nor good. We have to wash the dishes, wash the car. You have to go over to your office. You have to prepare report. You may also read the Bible, maybe pray, and worship sometimes... These are all activities, but the notion of what makes a difference is the heart of the person performing the activity. Are we rushing through the Program of Life aimlessly? pro·gram - /ˈprōˌɡram/ "a set of related measures or activities with a particular long-term aim" - Oxford Dictionary
Let's take washing dishes further.
This evening, I had to go and wash the dishes as usual. This could be a chore, drudgery or the way my heart normally is; I love to have clean plates, and forks, and knives.
Activity as a Joy: I love to be able to go over and pick up a plate, and just go ahead and eat. So that means that when I wash the dishes, I want to make them spotless and squeaky clean:
- Know : I get ready, I want a good clean sponge. I want great soap that works.
- Decide: Organize before I start to clean. What gets cleaned first, think about how to optimize soap and water usage... etc.
- Act: As I clean, I enjoy looking outside. So I like to clean a little bit earlier in the evening before dark, so I can still see a nice view, maybe the sun setting, maybe the clouds, a bird or two going along. I clean with joy in my heart.
Not only is it interesting to find and clean out those deep rooted spots that sometimes occur when you're cooking. but it's also a rewarding feeling.
- Set a Goal: Seeing everything has been cleaned up. Put away. Nice, neat and getting dried. I know that in the morning, I am going to pick up a clean bowl or plate for breakfast, and I'm not going to have to reinspect it.
- Follow-through and Improve: I know it'll be clean, so I can just go ahead and eat, but if it's not clean, I'm pretty disappointed that I could have done even better. And so I'm gonna take a closer look the next night, have some more fun playing a game with myself. "Is that prong on the fork really clean?"
Activity as a Chore: Now, another way to consider cleaning dishes is that it's a chore. Oh, boy. Here are the dirty dishes again. My goodness, how did these get so dirty? How come they're so many? Isn't anyone gonna help? Why am I the one who has to clean the dishes?
This is boring. Oh, it's dirty. Always oily. Oh, I don't like it. Let me just hurry up and get it done. I have other things I need to do quickly. Let's go sponges. Okay, so clean enough, let's just get it washed up and put away if it looks clean... It is clean.
Now that might not be exactly the right attitude. In the morning, maybe it's clean. Maybe, it's not... Forks? Well, those are the toughest to clean. Maybe they're gonna be done or maybe not. And so it depends on your heart and activity is different only because of the heart of the person doing the activity
In conclusion, it's not that you can stop doing activities so you can say well I'm not gonna ever clean the dishes. No clean dishes means you are not gonna have a clean dish to eat off of, you're gonna be using your hands and the table pretty soon and that's gonna be a mess.
Well, instead, Whatever activity you do, seek the Lord to have a heart of joy.
- Plan the activity
- Resource, the activity,
- Seek God's help to have a joyful heart for the activity that you do and then follow up, make sure that the activity was wonderful and that you had lots of fun.
And ultimately then that you did your best, you did your best for God.
Collaboration: We work together as a family on this, everything is clean before dinner so that cooking is easier. Key supplies are replenished, soap, sponges, rags. Infrastructure updated like drying racks, kitchenshelves. Much thanks to all my family members for the efforts that make this one part of our whole daily family meal routine, activity with heart, supporting our Program of Life as we run the race set out before us.
- Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Keith B. Carter