“Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24
It is fall, and that means that it is time to get Camp DeWolfe ready for the upcoming winter. There are a lot of projects that need to be done outside before the cold weather hits. For our LITs and our Camp America staff, some of these will be familiar. In the past week, the staff has painted 5 cabins and leveled/moved 8 large piles of woodchips. Our Camp America staff and our Leaders in Training all had the chance to help with similar projects. I don’t mind moving wood chips or painting cabins. In fact, it can be a lot of fun to do these sorts of service activities when one is doing them with friends. In the summer, though, these tasks were never met with enthusiasm and raucous applause.
It is pretty obvious, then, why I thought of the struggle for both the staff and the LITs when I read this passage in Colossians during my devotions. This passage in Colossians can frustrate us as it has been (mis)used to legitimize some terrible forms of oppression. Thank God that we can acknowledge that the references to slavery and strict gender roles can be problematic, then get to the real business of listening for what God is saying to us through the text.
While I was reading it I found God speaking to me through verses 23 and 24. Whatever your task, do it as though you were doing it for the Lord. If we keep the Lord Christ as the purpose and focus of everything we do, it changes how we do it and even the very actions themselves. If we go to our jobs with the understanding that we are serving God rather than the “almighty” dollar, or our bosses, or the shareholders, how does that change the way we think about our work? If we cared for our families knowing that it is work we do for Jesus Christ, how much less arduous would it be to do the laundry or dishes? If our friendships were less about us and more about pleasing God and caring for others, how much more loving and caring could we be toward our friends?
So what tasks that are a part of your work, family life, or friendships would you do differently if you were doing them for the Lord? Would you apply yourself more to those reports if you were doing them for Jesus Christ instead of to get a paycheck? Would you be less annoyed with your family if you thought of folding socks as a service to the Lord rather than something you have to do because they won’t wear flipflops? Admittedly, this is easy at Camp DeWolfe. We are a Christian organization whose identity is found in serving the Lord through faith-based programs and Christian hospitality. It may be harder for you in your situation. It may take more effort to remember that your sales position, your plumbing work, your food service is first and foremost your work for God. If you can make that conceptual leap, though, it will change your life, your job, your worldview. It will turn difficult, annoying, and lengthy tasks into sacrifices of praise to a loving God.
– Nate Saccol, Program Director
P.S. If you would like to help Camp DeWolfe do some landscaping, painting, or other beautification projects, we still have lots of opportunities for folks to participate in our Service Saturdays. It is work that is easy to know that you are doing it for the Lord. Get more information here!