"Work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or it should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God.”
In her 1942 essay Why Work?, Dorothy Sayers argues every Christian is called to serve God in his or her profession or trade, not outside it. For believers to not pit our secular work against our service but to see how the Lord is behind the scenes in our vocations, bringing life to areas that are experiencing death and decay. Dorothy understood that because “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1), God’s care for people extends way beyond the doors of our churches to our neighbors, our cities, and our institutions.
In Genesis 4, Lamech’s three sons are described as the fathers of distinct professions—an owner of livestock, a maker of music, and an iron worker. We know that “every good and perfect gift comes down from above…from the father of lights” (James 1:17). Whether righteous or unrighteous, every farmer, artist, chef, or carpenter excels in their craft by God’s good unmerited gifts of grace. God gave Lamech's sons those skills not because of their own worthiness but in part to enrich and brighten the common good of those around them.
Within these pages you'll see government workers, artists, developers, and doctors using their gifts to pursue a broken world with real love, care, hope, and purpose. God has given inherent value to their work, and they’re seeking their best to honor Him as they labor. Often our problem is not that we expect too much from our work, but we expect too little. Let’s be people who anticipate big things from our God who cares deeply about our world and has invited us to restore it with Him.