How to come back from vacation

Vacation is a beautiful thing. Lazy days or exciting adventures, getting away from reality is needed in order to remain sane the other 50 or so weeks of the year. But going on vacation causes the inner struggle of realizing why you need to go back to work.

The reality of work means no more sleeping late, no more constantly inhaling junk food, no more sitting in the sand reading for hours, no more snuggling with your loved-ones. Vacation causes you to think: What’s the purpose of my work, the reason I’m needed there? Why do I exhaust myself day after day, year after year?

And then come the voices of others: How long do you see yourself there? Are you making enough money to live off of, or do you ever wish you were doing something more closely related to your degree?

While these are all good, genuine questions, they can cause you to doubt why you do what you do. And wonder what is the purpose of it all.

All is meaningless

If you’ve ever read the book of the Bible called Ecclesiastes, your eyes have come across the passage about how all work and toil under the sun is meaningless (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11). If Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said so, there must be some truth to that statement. So why even bother to go back to work if it doesn’t mean anything in life?

Going through the book of Ecclesiastes is a great example of how you should never take scripture out of context. Simply reading a few passages from Solomon’s depressing revelations of meaningless work can cause one to stop and think, “Well, what is the point?”

After struggling with thoughts of, “Should I really be doing this,” and “Is there something that will help me feel more fulfilled at the end of the day,” it’s tempting to throw up your hands and go numb as you head to work each day. Going through the motions can sometimes prove easier than searching for meaning.

But you can’t stop there.

Remember the sparrow

If you think of all the different jobs mentioned in the Bible, it’s hard not to put the job of ministering with Jesus at the top of the list. Talk about a reason to get up each morning! Jesus sends out His twelve disciples in Matthew 10, and, paired with Solomon’s warnings about meaningless work, you can see how Solomon was right. All work truly is meaningless. But there shouldn’t be a period to end that sentence.

All work is meaningless if you are working for man, but all work holds great meaning if you are working for the Lord.

Jesus told His disciples to go preach about the kingdom of Heaven. He told them take no money, no bag, no extra clothes. He wanted them to be completely dependent on God for their provisions.

Jesus told them to stand firm, to not be afraid. He promised them they were worth more than many sparrows, a bird that was nearly worthless in Jesus’ day. He pointed out that not one of these nearly-worthless birds was forgotten by God.

If the God of the universe does not misplace a single sparrow, why should you be afraid He will not provide for you in the midst of your work? This doesn’t mean get any random job just for a paycheck, expecting God to bring meaning out of it. If you truly aren’t satisfied in what you do, if your stomach is in knots every morning because you hate the thought of going to work, maybe that means it’s time to seek God’s wisdom to search for a new job.  

Jesus has given you a great task: Go out and tell the world about His good news, no matter your job or your lifestyle. Do not fear a lack of possessions, a lack of income or a lack of security. Know He provides for you in all things, in all circumstances.

Working is not about what you do, who your boss is or what your friends think about your job. It’s about realizing you work for your Creator. Only then will you find meaning in what you do. Only then will you find motivation to come back from vacation, excited and ready to go.    

Let’s Talk About It: How should you change your mindset in order to go to work each day with purpose? 

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