There can’t be too many people that do their job because they love it. If you do then good luck to you. Most of us will generally enjoy it and occasionally resent it or the other way round in some sort of proportionate way.
We work because it gives us the wherewithal to do the rest of the stuff that we really want to do.
In the past the fruit of our labours would probably have been that; fruit or veg or something we made, nowadays it isn’t always possible to see these fruits so we take the money and hope we’ve made the world a little better for someone.
In philosophical terms our jobs have little intrinsic value to us and, as a means to an end, offer only instrumental value.
There are other things we do that have an intrinsic value, we do them because of the feeling we get just by the very act rather than any other benefits they may bestow.
Philosophy has a way to differentiate activities that carry these different values for us; work – that which we do for some other reason, and play – that which we do for itself.
At Inspire we are just embarking on a series looking at the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). Based on what I wrote earlier it might be safe to assume that the spirit bears it’s fruit to those who work the hardest (for the kingdom of God, presumably) but here is yet another paradox that Christianity throws up and highlights a lot of where it’s practitioners go wrong in my humble opinion.
As Peter Rollins would say ‘here’s the trick’; the harder you work to reap the fruits of the spirit the more elusive they become and it is only by living a life filled full by these fruits that one can live a life fulfilled.
The fruits of the spirit are the intrinsic values of life not the instrumental ones and it is only when you stop working, stop trying so hard to find them, to find the meaning of life, that they and it (and God) find you.
And then the fun really starts.
So stop working and go out and play.
As Franz Ferdinand remind me and my family on a regular basis:
it’s alway better on holiday,
So much better on holiday,
That’s why we only work when,
We need the money