Monday, January 21, 2008

The computer monks.

The computer monks.

Usually, this is the time of year when keeping resolutions gets difficult. The reality of a few weeks has stacked up like old newspapers and the previously white canvas of a wide open year feels a little bit colored on. And so you, like me, find yourself going back to work on a Tuesday perhaps wondering where the motivation for the day will come from.

I don’t have steps you can follow but I do have a short story that sometimes reminds me why even the unimportant parts of my day are important.

There was once a group of monks that were hired to program software. The guy that hired them thought that at the bare minimum they would be faithful workers. They probably wouldn’t steal or lie or skip work. At the worst, they would be hard workers that didn’t cause much of a fuss.

Instead, the monks gave him the most beautiful code the programming work had ever seen. It was less like lines of code and more like art. There was an intentionality and rhythm to it that spoke to deeper truths, even in the midst of something traditionally cold and flat. When asked about it, the owner of the copy had a fairly simple response:

The monks believe that everything their hands touch is sacred.

Wow. “Everything” is the gorilla word in that sentence. It’s not some things or most things or church things, it’s everything. Yard work? That’s sacred. Filing your expense reports on time? That’s sacred. Keeping accurate timesheets at work? That’s sacred.

It’s all sacred.

Do you ever wonder when you’ll start to do “real work” for God? I do. I love my job but there are weeks where work feels really commercial and secular and not five days of “worship.” And in those moments I think to myself, “wouldn’t God want me to do his work 40 hours a week?” Shouldn’t I be writing devotionals or out in Africa as a missionary? Shouldn’t I work at a church or something? Shouldn’t I be doing God’s work?

Here’s the thing though, I am. If I, like those monks, look at my work the right way, then everything I do is worship. Every breath I take, every moment I have is worship.

And whether I’m programming or writing advertising or posting blogs, it’s all sacred.

1 comment:

robyn collins said...

i agree. it's something i like to explain to my kids, too. when you obey me- act of worship because it honors God; when you complete your homework with excellence- act of worship because it honors God; when you remember someone and give them a call-act of worship because it honors God... it's helpful to identify the options we have every day to worship Him... Good word, as per usual, J.