To the medics among us, ‘graft’ will refer to removing a healthy piece of body tissue and using it to repair a part of the body that is damaged. To the gardeners among us, ‘graft’ will refer to the insertion of a twig or shoot into a tree trunk or stem of another plant. To many of us the phrase ‘hard graft’ will refer to working hard.
Work is an integral part of life for adults and in many parts of the world for children too. In his book Aging Matters, finding your calling for the rest of your life, R.Paul Stevens suggests the following reasons for work:
- We are made to work
- Work is good for the world
- Work is good for us
- Work can be a practical way to love our neighbours
- Work participates in spreading the kingdom of God
- Work prepares us for the life to come
(Aging Matters, finding your calling for the rest of your life. Published Wm.B Eerdmans Publishing Company 2016 p.20-23)
Take a few moments to recall your own work history, remember the highlights as well as the more challenging aspects. Read the verses below and then turn your recollections and thoughts about work into prayer with gratitude for the gift of work, in whichever form you have experienced it.
…use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Ephesians 4:28 (NLT)
We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”
2 Thessalonians 3:7-10 (NLT)
Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. Ecclesiastes 5:18 & 19b (NLT)