the gift of work

In my mailbox this morning, I found Elisabeth Elliot's encouraging and convicting (yes, both) words on work and I felt like I should share them here.  Maybe you'll be encouraged and convicted, too?
"Wouldn't it make an astounding difference, not only in the quality of the work we do (in office, schoolroom, factory, kitchen, or backyard), but also in our satisfaction, even our joy, if we recognized God's gracious gift in every single task, from making a bed or bathing a baby to drawing a blueprint or selling a computer? If our children saw us doing "heartily as unto the Lord" all the work we do, they would learn true happiness. Instead of feeling that they must be allowed to do what they like, they would learn to like what they do.
St. Ignatius Loyola prayed, "Teach us, Good Lord, to labor and to ask for no reward save that of knowing that we do Thy will." As I learn to pray that prayer, I find that there are many more rewards that come along as fringe benefits. As we make an offering of our work, we find the truth of a principle Jesus taught: Fulfillment is not a goal to achieve, but always the by-product of sacrifice."
You can read the entire devotional (if you feel like being hit harder) right here.  (And also sign up to have an e-devotional sent to your inbox every morning.)  And, heehee, the photo below has virtually nothing to do with this post.  I just like it and it spoke to me of flying away to do our work in joy and freedom......or something like that. :)
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