“Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them. At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall?”Ezra 5:2-3
I recall my dad calling people who showed up late to a work event, “blisters”. They would always look at him weird and he would then explain, “you showed up after the work was done.” I have met many people in my life who were downright lazy, and others who seemed to have an excuse for everything. They tell you to call them and promise to come over to help with whatever project you are working on, knowing they have no intention of actually helping you. The “I am just taking a break” excuse turned into a lifelong break from work. I believe one never fully retires, but retires from one job to do another. You retire from the job God has given you to provide income to do one that He has given you to do that may not require an income.
I loved working once I realized it brought me an income, and I could use that money to buy some coveted items that were on my wish list. I have had bouts of laziness as I plopped myself down in front of the television or just flat out relaxed a little too long. I have worked with people who worked extremely hard and others who worked hard at not working. I once worked on a church staff which brought about independence, but there were times when there was not a lot of work to be done. I allowed myself to get lazy during those times, and I was not proactive in finding things to do. The work is never done and you can always find something to do if you look hard enough. I soon learned that my work ethic needed a kick in the pants when I started a new job.
My introduction to the retail world opened my eyes to my missing work ethic, and it also literally opened my eyes at hours when I though it inhumane to wake up in the morning. My boss got every ounce out of me until I required it of myself without his motivation. I naturally lost a little weight as I would hit 10,000 steps before 6am, and the only way I did not feel tired was to stay busy as I did not have time to be tired. I would hire people over the Christmas season, and I would always give them a test prior to the interview. The walk from the front of the store to the office was a long walk, and I would purposefully walk fast to see if they would pick up their pace to keep up with me or if they would lag back and maintain their own pace. I would not say this was a make-or-break issue, but the ones who kept my pace were mostly always good hires and worked out well. We went through a lot of people every holiday season and few made it past that time. The ones who had a desire to work always worked out and the ones who were lazy or did not have a desire to work rarely made it past the first couple of weeks.
God has given every one of us a work to do, and He requires of all of us that we stay busy in the work He has called us to do. There is always something to be done whether you must do it from a hospital bed or if you can be active and volunteer in your local church and community. Zerubbabel and Jeshua began to build the house of God because this was the work God had given them to do. They were questioned by the political powers, and they faced disparaging remarks along the way. The did not ask God to take a break and they did not get offended by what was said to them or about them. They had a singular focus on the work God had called them to do, and they were obedient to the call of the work that was before them. The prophets of God helped them in this endeavor, and they got to work devoid of excuses and even of the opposition they faced. We can always find excuses to not work, but we can also find purpose in the work God has given us and commanded us to do.
How is your work ethic? Do you stay busy in the work God has given you, or have you withdrawn from serving in the ministry of your local church? Do you look for ways to get out of work or are you always looking for a gap you can fill? Are you a “blister” or are you one like these men of God who got busy in starting the building and restoring the house of God? God has given us all work to do, and He has commanded all of us to work. Will you work for Him today? May we get busy in doing work, and may we be found busy when He decides to take us home.