Work is Redemptive...Uh, Really?
PHOTO: If God can redeem an outhouse into this, He can redeem anything...and we thank God for plumbers.
It was like flunking out of college and being faced with an unexpected dose of reality in a job that no one wants when Adam was showed the exit door at The Garden of Eden. A thorny issue arose out of the ground: “Is work redemptive or punitive?”
…I did, in fact, graduate (barely) and looked reality through the lens of my alarm clock as 9 a.m. came faster than I had ever imagined - day after day after day.
And every time I wiped the sleepy seeds out of my eyes, I did view it as a punishment. But my eyes began to open after months and years of laboring as a management consultant for a plumbing association. My wife pointed out, “I think you’re actually beginning to like your job.” She was right.
What I didn’t mention is that I grew up with a dad with baggy pants, a smelly truck and a tool kit. You guessed it. He was a plumber. On the other hand, my neighbor’s dad was a New York City insurance executive with readily available tickets to The Yankees.
But the redemptive part came as I began to admire and enjoy my fellowship with these “salt-of-the-earth” plumbers. I began to associate with my dad’s trade - not to mention work ethic.
Ironies abound when it came to Adam’s thorns. God led him in making untamed, rough land into a garden. My irony was a bit hard to miss and every bit as a deliberate orchestration on God’s part as what He did for Adam.
If it’s a jeopardy question under “Theology” for $200, I’ll choose “Redemptive” rather than “Punitive.”
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Even if someone is just barely hanging in there with a job, one only has to look up at Christ’s cross to see that work is redemptive.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it…Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”--
Genesis 2:15 NASB, Galatians 3:13 NASB