A Work of Love: The Perpetual Vacation

By Pastor Joel Sims

A few years back, I took some time off from work. I spent time in Florida and New York with family and friends. While I found it refreshing, honestly I couldn’t wait to get back to work.

Your work should be love made visible!

My work often doesn’t feel like work. It feels like an opportunity for me to release my passion and pour myself into something that will enrich the lives of others.

And I know what you may be thinking, that’s easy for you because you’re a pastor. Well that’s true, it is a joy to do that. But honestly, I felt that way when I was a barista. I felt that way when I scooped ice cream. I felt that way when I waited tables. Why?

My father used to always quote Colossians 3: “Whatever you do, do as unto the Lord”. Scoop ice cream as if you were making it for the Lord. Make coffee like you are making it for the Lord. Pour your heart into it. I did and I found passion.

The only time I didn’t feel this way was when I poured concrete working for one of my dad’s best friends. I was 14 and that was the longest summer of my life. I would beg God for rain (when it rained you couldn’t pour concrete); it was a competition between my faith and Carl Ray’s (his won). That was tough work, which is exactly why I think my father wanted me to do it. And honestly, I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t wait for summer to be over and get off that job. Waking up early, being in the sun all day… tough!

And then, it all changed. One day Carl picked me up and took me to the job we worked at the week before. It was a small business and we poured the parking lot. He said, “Do you see that? You did that. And that will forever be there because of the work of your hands. It will serve people. It will serve that business. You did good work.”

I got it. For him, it wasn’t work. It wasn’t a paycheck. His work was love made visible. He wanted his work to make a difference in the lives of the people he was doing it for. My attitude changed. While that was the last summer I ever poured concrete, today when I drive by the small business and see cars in that parking lot, I smile.

When you work like that, where your work is your passion, where you work as if the Lord was your client, you see an increase. You see people want you to make their ice cream and coffee. You see your managers take notice. You see repeat clients. It’s not working hard for working hard’s sake, it’s finding that whatever you do with your life with your hands and mind, do it with all your might and not because you have to. You are simply pouring your love for people and Jesus out. You work with passion and you will never work a day of your life. Your work will be a perpetual vacation!

January 1, 2024