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Good Work

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I just finished a project. It had been hanging out on my to-do list for at least months, maybe even a year. Based on the time elapsed since I added the project to my list, it evidently had no urgency to it, but it was an important task, nonetheless. Also, it’s one of those behind-the-scenes projects that others won’t see. Few know about it; fewer care. But you know what? It feels good to have it completed.
Recently I reviewed the Eisenhower Matrix, a task-management tool that helps organize and prioritize tasks by importance and urgency. Tasks without either importance or urgency are distractions (looking at you, cell phone). We shouldn’t spend much time on these timewasters. Tasks that are urgent but not important are things we can sometimes delegate to others because they don’t require a specific skill set; they just need to be done. Tasks with both importance and urgency have deadlines or consequences. Your monthly bills have deadlines… and you know what dominoes may fall if you miss payments. Tasks with importance but not urgency have unclear deadlines but contribute to long-term success. These tasks focus on opportunities and growth, not crises. What’s more, spending time on these tasks helps reduce future crises, much like routine car maintenance can help prevent a stall out later. This is a sweet spot, and working on these tasks pays dividends later.
Work is both biblical and rewarding. In Genesis 2, God tasked Adam with caring for Eden. This wasn’t a punishment or a result of sin; God knew that productive work would benefit both creation and the caretaker. In Psalm 90:16-17, we see that our work is what God has given us to do in pursuit of our calling. Our best work success comes when our plans align with God’s will and we seek Him and His leadership in our work (Proverbs 16:3).
Work – which is not necessarily equivalent to employment – looks different for each of us. When we see meaning and importance in the things we do, work feels less like work. We can look at a completed project and feel good about it. When we allow God to guide our work and we lean into the work He gives us, He satisfies us through both the process and the product. And that feels good.

Posted by Kathy Raines