WORKING SMARTER

Grading papers today for my New Testament Foundations Class and handling other pressing matters, so I thought I would take my own advice in this blog post and reprint it today. This originally appeared in my devotional blog THRIVING IN CHRIST September 1, 2009. = STEVE

WORKING SMARTER

“Whatever you do in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord ….” – Colossians 3:17
I am not always the most efficient worker. Sometimes it takes me twice as long to get something done as I think it should. Many years ago I decided to replace the faucet in our kitchen sink. It had been leaking, much to Dianne’s annoyance. It didn’t annoy all that much–but when she told me we were wasting money–that motivated me. As a homeowner with little money, I thought, “Go to Sears, buy a faucet, and put it in.” So off to Sears I went.

The salesman assured me it would be a simple task. It would take me maybe 30-45 minutes to accomplish. Since I am not much of a handyman, I decided to wait until I had nothing better to do. So one night around nine o’clock I decided to tackle it. First problem, I had to find the wrench needed (I had everything else I needed in the kit.) Once that was located, I started to take off the old faucet, only to find that this required me to get under the sink to do so.

There I found that the depth of our sink did not accommodate my short-handled wrench. I needed a long-handled one. Since I did not own one I went next door to my neighbor’s house. Dick WAS a handy man and he had almost every tool imaginable. He had the needed tool. By now I had easily killed the salesman’s “30-45 minutes.”

Dick followed me home. There I discovered that no amount of effort with new tool would budge the old faucet. “Let’s just take the whole sink out,” suggested Dick (now we were past the first hour of this project.) That made sense, so we started — only to discover that the sink was anchored into the cabinetry. Whoever had put the sink in must have feared earthquakes or just had too much time on his hands. He had anchored it in MORE THAN 30 PLACES. Now we had to remove drawers, wedge ourselves into many small place (and did I tell you? Go in search of NEW TOOLS).

Finally, after three hours–we got the sink out, the old faucet removed, the new one replaced and the sink back in place (this time with perhaps a dozen anchor points). Guess what?

You guessed it–the new faucet leaked, as well.

After that I determined that you can work or you can work smarter. There is little satisfaction in work that requires a lot of effort and produces minimal results. And there’s no merit in working faster if the job still isn’t done right. It’s not about the work–it’s about the results.

Jesus reminds us that the best results for our work come when we work according to His purposes, following His plans,and doing it to help people honor Him. In the end that is the work that will be effective and whose results will be lasting.

(c) 2009 by STEPHEN L DUNN

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