If You’re Too Busy …

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If You’re Too Busy ...

And now, some help­ful work­place tips brought to you by the apos­tle Paul. No, really.

Paul said in one or more of his epis­tles that those who believe in Christ should work hard, do what they do as unto the Lord, etc etc. Which is true, albeit admit­tedly some­what dif­fi­cult to remem­ber some days when the boss is being some­thing decid­edly less than pleas­ant. This duly noted, I believe we far too often com­pletely miss his point.

Paul’s trade, with which he paid for his min­is­te­r­ial trav­els and such, was tent mak­ing. He doubt­less was good at it; he had to be in order to com­pete with other tent mak­ers so he might put food on whichever table he was din­ing at that week plus pay­ing his own way in order to evan­ge­lize and min­is­ter through­out the known world, or at least the known world Roman Empire style. There­fore, a log­i­cal assump­tion is that when he was work­ing his trade, he doubt­less did it …

… in character.

Say what?

One thing suc­cess­ful, truly suc­cess­ful, pro­fes­sional peo­ple do is learn and prac­tice the fine art of carv­ing out and installing within them­selves an on/​off switch. If we are doing it right, we are nei­ther defined by our work nor allow our work to define us.

Oh, we do the work all right. We do it to the best of our abil­i­ties. We always ana­lyze our per­for­mance, not­ing strengths and weak­nesses while striv­ing for con­tin­u­ous improve­ment. How­ever, we also must learn and prac­tice the immutable belief that the work is not us.

Our invest­ment in work should be strictly lim­ited. Our involve­ment in work should be at all times delib­er­ately half-​hearted. Note that the com­mon def­i­n­i­tion of that done half-​heartedly equal­ing that done halfway is entirely incor­rect. When done prop­erly, half-​hearted is that done with strict, uncom­pro­mis­ing mechan­i­cal pre­ci­sion while our heart is reserved for far greater things.

Work, when done cor­rectly, should always be done pas­sion­ately but never with pas­sion. Pas­sion is too pre­cious a com­mod­ity to waste on work. It should be reserved solely for faith, for fam­ily, and for friends. The prop­erly pri­or­i­tized pas­sion­ate mind and heart coor­di­nates all activ­i­ties with what truly mat­ters – more pre­cisely, who truly mat­ter – as the main pri­or­ity. Together, such a mind and heart develop the fine art of switch­ing work mechan­ics off and on in a frac­tion of a heart­beat. They put into prac­tice the gift of plac­ing what ought to be first, well, first. A brief smile, a know­ing look, a whis­pered moment bring­ing two or more peo­ple together; these things are the threads from which true life is woven. Blow­ing by, or off, some­one because you are so tightly wound up and wrapped up in what­ever it is that you are doing? Not so much.

Work done prop­erly, and done in the cor­rect order of pri­or­ity, is done in char­ac­ter. Those who approach work as a method actor all-​consumingly approaches any given part they play are miss­ing the boat. Play the char­ac­ter of a top notch worker to the hilt, and in char­ac­ter pro­duce top notch work. But learn how to inter­nally yell cut. The shared gifts of Spirt, of life, and of love must always comes first. Always.

Find within your­self your on/​off switch. Prac­tice using it. Develop the nec­es­sary abil­ity to instantly flip between being a skilled worker dis­pens­ing qual­ity out­put and the far more impor­tant role that is not a role at all, but rather real­ity: one who loves and gives. Then, flip back again. The work will still be there. The human being at the other end of grace-​led con­tact is not nearly as guaranteed.

And remem­ber. Always, remember:

If you’re too busy …

… yes you are.

And now, some helpful workplace tips brought to you by the apostle Paul. No, really.

Paul said in one or more of his epistles that those who believe in Christ should work hard, do what they do as unto the Lord, etc etc. Which is true, albeit admittedly somewhat difficult to remember some days when the boss is being something decidedly less than pleasant. This duly noted, I believe we far too often completely miss his point.

Paul’s trade, with which he paid for his ministerial travels and such, was tent making. He doubtless was good at it; he had to be in order to compete with other tent makers so he might put food on whichever table he was dining at that week plus paying his own way in order to evangelize and minister throughout the known world, or at least the known world Roman Empire style. Therefore, a logical assumption is that when he was working his trade, he doubtless did it …

… in character.

Say what?

One thing successful, truly successful, professional people do is learn and practice the fine art of carving out and installing within themselves an on/off switch. If we are doing it right, we are neither defined by our work nor allow our work to define us.

Oh, we do the work all right. We do it to the best of our abilities. We always analyze our performance, noting strengths and weaknesses while striving for continuous improvement. However, we also must learn and practice the immutable belief that the work is not us.

Our investment in work should be strictly limited. Our involvement in work should be at all times deliberately half-hearted. Note that the common definition of that done half-heartedly equaling that done halfway is entirely incorrect. When done properly, half-hearted is that done with strict, uncompromising mechanical precision while our heart is reserved for far greater things.

Work, when done correctly, should always be done passionately but never with passion. Passion is too precious a commodity to waste on work. It should be reserved solely for faith, for family, and for friends. The properly prioritized passionate mind and heart coordinates all activities with what truly matters – more precisely, who truly matter – as the main priority. Together, such a mind and heart develop the fine art of switching work mechanics off and on in a fraction of a heartbeat. They put into practice the gift of placing what ought to be first, well, first. A brief smile, a knowing look, a whispered moment bringing two or more people together; these things are the threads from which true life is woven. Blowing by, or off, someone because you are so tightly wound up and wrapped up in whatever it is that you are doing? Not so much.

Work done properly, and done in the correct order of priority, is done in character. Those who approach work as a method actor all-consumingly approaches any given part they play are missing the boat. Play the character of a top notch worker to the hilt, and in character produce top notch work. But learn how to internally yell cut. The shared gifts of Spirt, of life, and of love must always comes first. Always.

Find within yourself your on/off switch. Practice using it. Develop the necessary ability to instantly flip between being a skilled worker dispensing quality output and the far more important role that is not a role at all, but rather reality: one who loves and gives. Then, flip back again. The work will still be there. The human being at the other end of grace-led contact is not nearly as guaranteed.

And remember. Always, remember:

If you’re too busy …

… yes you are.