I have 4 days teaching year 5’s starting tomorrow.

To be honest I am a bit nervous. I used to be a good teacher, used to have a great rapport with kids and a lot of creative ideas when it came to education. I don’t like the thought of not being able to do it quite as well, or not feeling as confident in the classroom. But its been a while… I am a little out of touch, and my heart is not in it like it used to be…

Part of me is actually looking forward to 4 days of new experience (I have never done a primary classroom before) and I am even a little bit excited about it, while another part of me would be happy if they rang and cancelled so I could get on with other stuff… The fact that I am blogging about it shows it is getting space in my thoughts.

I did the reticulation on our investment home last week, and saved us $1000.00 for installation. (That’s what Total Eden quoted ) It took me just a day and a half… I couldn’t help seeing a business opportunity there in a new suburb. How easy would it be to earn $1000.00 from installing one retic system a week?

As I look to next year and a number of work options I find myself constantly tossing up between the well paying but relatively brain dead options, or the poorly paying, but (for me) more inspiring and challenging ministry options.

Do I need / want more inspiration and challenge or I do I need some trench digging just to pay the bills?…

I remember as we went thru Uni (many years ago now) we learnt about the concepts of labour, work and play. Labour is what you do whether you like it or not because you need the $$$. It is purely extrinsically motivated – and may people’s jobs are like this. Work is both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated. You enjoy it but it also pays the bills. Sure – there are parts that are hard, but you can cope with that. And ‘play’ is what you do purely because it is enjoyable. Any $$$ benefit is a bonus.

I made a decision right back at 21 years old to try and wherever possible place myself in jobs where I was doing ‘work’ and to avoid ‘labour’ wherever I could. You may think the ideal would be to get paid to ‘play’, but in actual fact this wouldn’t be the case as then you would lose opportunities for recreation and relaxation and life would become very fuzzy.

That said, my life lately has been a blend of ‘work’ and ‘play’ and I have rarely had to do ‘labour’. My teaching stint a few years back was exactly that and it nearly killed me. These days I get paid money to do what I would want to do even if there was no money in it.

I feel priveleged but at the same time am in search of some new challenges.

Then again it is September… and I always feel like this in September!

Musing over…

7 thoughts on “Working…

  1. Well I have a few points that I would like to make. The first is that I find labour to be very good for me on a number of levels. I appreciate the effect on my body. I appreciate the people it has me come in contact with. And it helps me to understand others better. But the most important, I feel like I understand Jesus’ parables more.

    Secondly, it would seem to me that labour can become work whenever we “work as unto the Lord” and I believe that is what Paul did when he made tents, his labour allowed him to minister to his mob, and be in constant contact with others in the community that were in need of his services.

    And lastly, everything we do is ministry opportunities, and I would think that most of the “church” stuff would be less so.


  2. Hammo,

    Here’s a diffrent suggestion because I could go into a whole speel about paid vs non paid minitry/mission but the reality is that there are horses for courses and God can use both. But here is what I try to consider in such times… Which option lends towards me being in closer geographic proximity for contacts and relationships to he peopl I am called to reach and serve?

    You could get big paying job on the other side of the city (or doing something in your area that doesn’t enable you to get any more time with people like digging holes) so it effectively funds your ministry but precious hours are away from the people you are called to serve. Or you could get a lesser paying job right in the centre of where the people you are trying to reach are living their lives and have all sorts of opportunities and chances to bump into them and know what’s going on locally.

    Something happens when you commit your life to a geographic area. Opportunities, narratives, networks, relationships, insights, etc.

    Go well and drop in for a coffee the next time you are in Camberwell,


  3. Hu Guys

    I think every option has its strengths.

    Funnily enough today was actually quite a reasonable day with a nice bunch of kids – and two DOTT periods! (free periods)

    If anything it was a tad boring as the work that was left was all worksheets and I didn’t need to teach anything. But it was easy.

    I do like the thought of starting a small local business in something like retic, but I am not sure I could sustain it (bad back!) I do like the physical aspect of hard work as well as the way it lets you mix with a range of people (as Andrew suggests).

    I dunno…

    Obviously I am very undecided and there is no perfect answer

    As for what i thought about while digging ditches… I guess it was a mix of ‘I could earn money out of this!’, to ‘bloody soil!’ to some of the more abstract philo/theol nonsense I write on here some times…

  4. I had 15 years working to support my role as a pastor. This was an incredibly rewarding period of my life. However the key was working in the same location as the people I lived with. Whether it was cleaning the hospital floors or editing a newspaper it made serving Jesus real. The key for me was seeing every part of my life as ministry, not just the “religious” bits.

  5. I like Colin Buchanan’s comment on

    the “Remember the Lord” Album (A Rock classic)

    “Let your Spiritual life be natural

    and your natural life be spiritual!”


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