Today, most of the world celebrates Labour Day. Speeches and quotes celebrating the worker are often given on this day. As I look through quotes often cited for this occasion, two caught my eye.
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”
“Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.” — Maya Angelou, 1928-2014 (American poet)
Two quotes, one from an ancient Greek philosopher and another from a contemporary poet, spanning almost two and a half millennia of human history, and many others, recognise the fact that love and the enjoyment of what we do form the basis of excellence. It is only in willingness to give one’s heart and soul into what we do that excellence and perfection results.
So too, our pursuit of God. It is only in our willingness to give our heart and soul into knowing Jesus that a more and more perfect knowledge of Him results. That willingness to pursue God can only be brought about by our love and enjoyment of being with Him and knowing Him. And as we know Him more, we reflect His character more. This is summed up by John Piper in his now famous quote, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
What fosters your love and enjoyment of knowing God and being with Him? For some, it is in deep private prayer or corporate prayer. For others, it is in the meditation and reflection on His Word and writing and sharing devotions from one’s reflection. Yet others find the joy of knowing God by the fellowship with and/or the service rendered to others. Still others find that joy through multiple avenues; you can spot them by the joy and thankfulness that they exude in their speech and in their acts, no matter how burdensome.
What about things that put you off? Perhaps you remember a time when scripture memory was made somewhat obligatory, and you hated it because there was a degree of shame associated with jumbling up the memory verse. Perhaps you remember the pain of reading a few chapters of the bible every day to complete your commitment to read the entire bible in one year, for which you are accountable to someone. Perhaps you are an introvert that naturally shuns social interactions.
Let us pray for the Lord to renew our hearts and our minds. In our natural, fallen state, there will be some of these activities of prayer, imbibing God’s Word and of fellowship that we naturally prefer to avoid. But God designed us that we may have our greatest joy and fulfillment when we know Him perfectly. Our knowledge of Him increases primarily through these avenues of prayer, of imbibing His Word and in our fellowship with and service rendered to each other.
Let us pray that the Lord will renew our thoughts and attitudes towards prayer, towards reading and meditating on His Word and towards fellowship. Let us pray that the Lord will renew our hearts so that we may kindle and experience more and more joy in prayer, in His Word and in fellowship.
Wishing everyone a joyful Labour Day.
By brother Ong Kiat Hoe