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Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Art, Work | 0 comments

Where Love and Need Are One: A Vision For Work

Where Love and Need Are One: A Vision For Work

  In the Fall 2013 Issue of Comment magazine, James K.A. Smith tells the story of a beautiful vision of work. In 2009, US Supreme Court Justice David Souter retired to his New Hampshire home. Chief Justice Roberts wrote, on behalf of the court, “We understand your desire to trade white marble for White Mountains, and to return to your land of ‘easy wind and downy flake,’” citing a Robert Frost Poem. Justice Souter responded with a quote from a Robert Frost poem of his own: “Two Tramps in Mud Time.” Souter wrote that Frost set out “the ideal of a life engaged,” when he wrote work should be “where love and need are one.” The finest moments of Souter’s professional life were described by this unity of love and need, work and passion. In the context of the simple task of splitting wood, Frost wrote about his vision more fully: My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one...

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Posted by on Jan 3, 2013 in Art, Theology | 0 comments

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An Act of Creation

An Act of Creation

  I was supposed to be networking. That’s what normal people do when surrounded by a city’s top leaders, as I was at a recent Q Ideas Conference at the Denver Performing Arts Center. But during the break between sessions, I found myself sipping coffee, standing alone amidst the buzzing conversation, and utterly transfixed by the artwork of Jake Weidmann. Three paintings of a lion sat on easels. The first lion’s mane was ablaze, representing God the Father, a consuming fire (Deut. 4.24). The second lion’s mane was a barbed wire, an allusion to the suffering of God the Son. And the third lion’s mane was a river, the Living Water given by God the Spirit (Jn. 7:38). As I beheld Weidmann’s arresting creativity and Trinitarian imagination, I quietly thought to myself,“We are at our best when our daily work reflects the creative work of God himself.” Made in the Image of the Maker When looking for a model for work, the best place to start is God’s own work....

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Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in Art, Work | 1 comment

Choosing to do meaningful work

Choosing to do meaningful work

  We have to consciously choose to use our freedom well.  I’m aware of few authors who put this more pungently than Annie Dillard. In her book The Writing Life she reflects on her work as a writer. “Putting a book together is interesting and exhilarating. It is sufficiently difficult and complex that it engages all your intelligence…It is life at its most free, if you are fortunate enough to try it, because you select your materials, invent your task, and pace yourself.” The freedom to create something new is the heart of exhilarating work, a fact, I would think, not lost on the Creator himself. To dream up a project, bring it to reality, and see its affect on others – this is meaningful work. Yet there is an ugly opposite to this creative work as well. Dillard writes, “The obverse of this freedom, of course, is that your work is so meaningless, so fully for yourself alone, and so worthless to the world, that no one except...

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Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in Art | 0 comments

Fezziwig and the Joy of Work

Fezziwig and the Joy of Work

  There exists a kind of lightness and unhindered joy that can fill a company and its employees with deep and instantaneous happiness. In Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, Mr Fezziwig is a perfect example of this lightness and joy. When the Ghost of Christmas Past takes old Scrooge to see Fezziwig’s ball, even his own heart is kindled with warmth. Dickens describes the joy of Fezziwig’s house on Christmas Eve. The warehouse was swept and cleared, a fire lit the room, and a fiddler played his song. Mr Fezziwig’s daughters, the housemaid, the baker, the milkman and the cook came to the ball. In came more than twenty couples, dancing, eating a roast, and wishing each other a Merry Christmas. Looking on, Scrooge felt younger, unlike the miser he had become. And the Ghost comments to Scrooge: “He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four, perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves praise?” “It isn’t that,” said Scrooge, heated by...

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