Faith Matters - Get paid four timesMy friend Rich has been thinking deep thoughts recently. Why? Because he died and lived to tell about it.
By: Kent Stillson, Pastor, Alexandria Echo Press
My friend Rich has been thinking deep thoughts recently. Why? Because he died and lived to tell about it.
In June, Rich went to the hospital for an angiogram. While in recovery from the procedure, Rich’s heart “flat lined.” He stopped breathing, and it took a roomful of doctors beating on his chest and injecting his heart with medicine to get it going again.
Thus, Rich has been thinking and writing deep thoughts, thoughts that fit in the “life is too short to waste” department.
One of Rich’s renewed thoughts is on the great amount of time we spend at our work. The advice he now gives young people who are starting out is that a job should pay at least four times.
Payment 1: Do what you love.
Payment 2: Work with people you enjoy.
Payment 3: Make some money – enough to take care of those you love and to give away to others in need.
Payment 4: The work does something good for the world – preferably something that will outlast you so you will keep on giving long after you are gone.
This is good advice for us more mature workers as well.
We can always make more money, but we cannot make more time. The question is, how will we spend the time we have? In work that pays four times, or in work that pays merely dollars?
The Good Book in several places – Psalms, Isaiah and I Peter – compares the length of human life to grass. In other words, it’s short. Hopefully it won’t take a near-death experience for us to better prioritize how we spend our time – at work, at home and at leisure.
Too many of us get up in the morning, trudge to work, do what we have to do, go home (or wherever) and then do the same thing all over again the next day. Where is the meaning? Where is the joy? Drudgery is not the Lord’s intention.
Jesus spoke of his mission to give “abundant life” (John 10). He did not mean earthly wealth. Jesus did mean salvation. He did mean life filled with family and friends, service to all in need and witness to the Good News.
It doesn’t matter what your work – custodian or corporate CEO. If your work provides only a paycheck, you are not being paid enough and are selling yourself short. It’s probably time for a change.
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Kent Stillson is a pastor at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Alexandria. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.