Rolling Back to Work (how to greet your dreaded fall schedule with greater joy)

Rollercoaster in clouds

I LOVE riding roller coasters, and I love the fact that my boys sincerely enjoy jumping on to join me. This was not always the case. I found a picture from several years back. We were trying to convince one son that the biggest coaster at Hershey Park would be a joy to ride. He stood in line waiting, growing more anxious, dreading every inch of the track, and longing to bail out. We managed to keep him in line, got him to ride, and he finished with a big smile. (Yes, this is before and after.)

Hershey Joel and JarodHershey Joel and Jarod after

Contemplate the concept of coasters. We can’t help but conclude it’s a bit crazy. Think about it. You willingly place your body into this large contraption of metal, plastic, wood, bolts, and thousands of moving parts. The aim of this device is to hurtle you down the tracks, throw you into loops, then send you screaming until your voice is hoarse. It’s really rather awesome and requires a crazy amount of faith.

‘Truth is, how we roll back into fall’s work-school schedule requires similar trust and adventuresome perspective.

I could read it in many friends’ eyes and hear it in their voices this week. It seems we are all plunging down the tracks too fast, headed back toward normal workweeks and ferociously full schedules once again. Some of us feel dread, disappointment, and self-induced preliminary stress over soon-to-be early wake-ups, oh-too-predictable meeting schedules, and an overall return to the ridiculously full-throttle pace. Sarcastically, we say, “I just cannot wait to get back to my marvelous, wonderful, oh-so-fulfilling daily grind.”

How do we roll in healthier ways? Is it possible to discover a different perspective when we already feel overwhelmed? How will we roll into the tedious tasks, piles of projects, and fall’s spike in work expectations?

Consider this provocative point of wisdom from Proverbs 16:3. “Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”

Proverb on Work-Commit

This lead off, ancient Hebrew word “commit” conveys a potent, picturesque concept. Among Scriptural incidents, the word was used of rolling a boulder over the door of a cave to incarcerate enemy kings (Joshua 10:18). This same word played a pivotal role in the covenant scene for the Israelites of Joshua’s day, as they intentionally and devotedly rolled back into practicing circumcision and experienced their guilty reproach being rolled away (Joshua 5:19).[1]

Proverbs 16:3 challenges us to COMMIT, to deliberately let our work concerns, plans, strategies, and worries roll toward God. We can commit to rolling our work issues, opportunities, and each endeavor in God’s direction, trusting Him to empower, infuse significance, and establish our plans. Rolling our trust His way can transform our attitudes from dread and gloom to adventure and productivity.

Consider three simple yet profound ideas for how to roll stronger as you head back to the normal full schedule for the work-school routine.

With start of fall, start a new habit. Commit your work to the Lord with start-of-the-day prayer. Too many mornings, we rush into our mad dash, forgetting to actually tap into our Lead Consultant’s great guidance. What might happen if we slow down at the start, to actually roll our concerns, challenges, and opportunities in His direction? Such transference of trust can lead to a deeply personal transformation, bringing greater peace and joy.

Commit to go God’s way—follow His directions—in all you do and say all day. As you trust Him and consult His Word, He will supply you with real-time wisdom, commands, principles and precepts that challenge the norm, set you on new paths, and call you into fresh opportunities for influence. Determine and say, “Lord, each step of my workday, I’ll roll your way!”

Roll into your fall work and full schedule with a fresh sense of adventure. Commit to greater productivity, creativity, and pursuing God’s mission. It’s wonderful to realize that God planned long ago for us to engage in purposeful, creative, difference-making work (Genesis 2:15, Ephesians 2:10, and Colossians 3:23-24).[2] When we truly sense how our daily work can bring God glory and reach others with his redemptive plans, even the seemingly mundane, thankless tasks and pressurized schedules can take on serious joy and significance.

With such deliberate prayer and a greater sense of adventure with God, we can be “on a roll” with fall’s work, bringing God glory with greater productivity—experiencing almost as much joy as riding roller coasters. Instead of dreading it, let’s revel in it. There is phenomenal opportunity for our fall endeavors to bring him greater glory!

 

 

 

 

[1]Harris, Archer, and Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, (Chicago: Moody Press), vol. 1, 162.

[2]Wayne Grudem, “How Business In Itself Can Glorify God,” On Kingdom Business: Transforming Missions Through Entrepreneurial Strategies (Wheaton: Crossway), 132-133.

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