Category Archives: Work

Work – perspectives on, Part III

At an innocent time in America’s air travel, Bernie May, then Wycliffe’s U.S. Division Director, sat in the TWA lounge at LAX, viewing the runways and loading zones.  (This writer had the same privilege at Lindbergh Field, San Diego in those innocent days).  Blasted terrorists!

We all adjusted to the change, but it’s likely air travel will never be the same again.  And going to the airport won’t ever be the same trip to the boarding area to greet those arriving.

Anyway, Bernie sat there and noticed a tug that backed out giant liners from their loading ramps.  The tug had six oversized tires on its low-slung chassis, perfect for its assigned task of pushing giant aircraft.

If done right.  If driven according to its specs.  Which this one driver didn’t.  For when he got the plane to the taxiway and uncoupled, he gunned his tug to get away.  Which did nothing but bounce the vehicle up and down.  The faster he gunned it, the wilder the bounces.  He finally turned it off to regain its equilibrium.  When it finally quieted, on he went, trying to race it.  He repeated the shut-down.  In Other Words, March, 1988

The spiritual point:  like that tug, some spiritual problems can only be resolved slowly; as Shakespeare said, a “wound heals by degrees”.  Any effort to speed the process will likely result in a lot of bouncing in relationships that usually bounce the instigator out of the picture.  Better be slower reaching the goal than trying too quickly and having the effort side tracked.

Bernie made another point worth a spiritual perspective:  the weight on the tug kept it steady at a slow pace.  Once free of its load, it became too light to move fast.  When we ask God, as Paul did, to remove weights and burdens we feel keep us moving too slowly, pause and consider:  maybe the burden is what keeps us steady, on target, headed in the right direction and UNDER CONTROL!  At the least, if, like Paul, we learn to delight in our burdens by making us more dependent on God’s grace, why wouldn’t we thank him that we bear them?   – Fini –

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

Work – perspectives on, Part II

Some work is so unappealing no one wants to do it.  Other work draws our best effort and keeps us occupied with goals ahead.  The best work we’ve never done is that which lies just beyond our capacity to achieve—but we stretch ourselves beyond what we consider possible.

Another perspective on work is:  almost any work excels enforced idleness.  Ben Franklin noticed that when men were detailed to erect a palisade around vulnerable populations.  When they worked, they felt contented.  They co-operated with each other.  They cracked jokes and exchanged good-natured jibes.  The day’s activities carried into evening’s leisure.  All of that changed when the work was interrupted by supply problems or bad weather.  Out came humanity’s quarrelsome nature.  Fault-finding over minor points became feuds.

That’s often a problem in the church.  Too much latent energy certainly surfaces debates, arguments and hard feelings.  Too much leadership in a church can cause it.  In that case, hiving off a swarm of workers to start a new congregation can alleviate the stress.  Many solid, maturing churches would experience significant growth if they trusted God enough to send some of their best workers, and their best givers, to pioneer a new work in the community.  That’s the kind of work outside the experience of most churches.  But if they stretched themselves to try it, God would release his resources to complete it.  Since starting new congregations offers a proven method of reaching new people, preachers should stretch themselves to try it.  Their people should stretch themselves to participate.      – End Part II –

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

Work – perspectives on, Part I

Sometimes no one wants the job.  At least nine General officers of George III refused his appointment to command his forces in America.  Then General William Howe accepted it, and lived to regret it.  Time Magazine, 1776, 50

In his book What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark Mc Cormack said you could learn a lot by working in a mailroom.  Not about the company or humility, but about yourself.  He found that people get ahead as they’re driven to do their best, whatever the task, and however mundane it is.  pp. 84-85

In the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, the boss tells Tom Rath to seek a task somewhat greater than his skills, experience and education; that demands more than he has ever delivered.  Then he needs to stretch his abilities to advance towards and reach the goal.  Any work should continue to challenge workers to strain to reach their outer limits.  p. 224

Christian discipleship offers the same challenge.  What Jesus demands of us is always beyond what we have achieved, given or reached.  Never mind that.  Keep working at reaching higher, going deeper, stretching further.  When we do, and find we still have failed in our quest, we also find that the “behinder” we get in trying to be like Jesus the closer we become to being like Jesus.  And we find that it’s better to fail in trying to be like Jesus than to succeed in being like anyone else.  – End Part I –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.co

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

 

 

 

 

 

Work – dangerous, but not in self-denial

Chris Burden, a conceptual artist who popularized body art, died 5/10/15 of a melanoma.  He may have been shocked to find death coming from cancer.  He had often exposed himself to danger in pursuit of his art.

Others in the subgenre documented the changes in their bodies as they gained or lost weight, had surgery, or suffered through illness or disease.  Burden lived on the edge:  had himself shot with a rifle that felt like a truck hitting “my arm at 80 miles an hour”; had himself nailed “over the hump” of a VW Beetle; for his Master’s Degree in fine arts stuffed himself into a student locker.  Above him a 5 gallon jug of water dripped into his mouth, and below a 5 gallon receptacle contained the outcome.  Five days later he emerged, having passed the final test of his degree work.  San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/12/15

He suffered for his art.  He didn’t deny himself for his art.  Every danger to which he exposed himself revealed an ego that demanded expression.  When he died he had become famous as the “best-known practitioner of body art.”  Which he achieved by daring his body to withstand pain, torture, and deprivation—while his ego always fueled the dare.

A Christian can serve Jesus all his life, and die at a ripe old age, without having such scars from his service.  Any scars will generally be invisible, in the brain and heart, seen but by God, the result of struggles between one’s ego and Christ’s demand of self-denial.  And if in Christ’s service we bear bodily scars, as the apostle Paul noted of himself in Galatians 6:17, it will be in serving spiritual causes in a hostile world, not in actions we volunteer to suffer, as Burden for his art.  If needed, we’ll suffer; if in suffering Jesus is glorified, fine; but we’ll practice the self-denial Jesus demands rather than merely suffering for our faith.

What is necessary for discipleship; and what will likely be the only visible expression of the unseen cost of serving Jesus, will be a Christ-honoring life achieved by practicing self-denial—the something antithetical to our ego.  Which draws the attention of seekers to him, not to the servant.  Paul wanted that kind of discipleship.  Do we?  Only an egotistical mortal would make himself the object of attention.  Why would a Christian, who has the self-denying Christ staring in his eyes?