All in a Day’s Work
Have you had a busy week? Perhaps all of us together would chorus being overworked, unappreciated, over-regulated, or even under-benefited. I read an article recently that put my complaints into perspective and I must admit, I am glad it isn’t 1852. A notice found in the ruins of a London office building some years back cited working conditions that might make you reconsider your work complaints.
1852 Office RulesÂ
Due to the reduced hours of work, the clerical staff now only needs to be present between the hours of 7 A.M. and 6 P.M. weekdays.
Clothing must be of a sober nature. The clerical staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright colors, nor will they wear hose unless in good repair.
Overshoes and topcoats may not be worn in the office, but neck scarves and headwear may be worn in inclement weather.
A stove is provided for the benefit of the clerical staff. Coal and wood must be kept in the locker. Each member of the clerical staff should bring four pounds of coal each day during the cold weather.
No member of the clerical staff may leave the room without permission from the supervisor for any reason.
Absolutely no talking is allowed during business hours.
Now that the hours of business are drastically reduced, the partaking of food is allowed between 11:30 and noon, but work will not on any account cease.
The owner recognizes the generosity of the new labor laws, but will expect a great rise in output of work to compensate for these near utopian conditions. (Economic Press Incorporated, 1994)
This sampling of rules seems to put complaints in order compared to today’s working conditions. However, the current working climate isn’t always what wears us out. Instead of our career positions it is often the other things, we get ourselves involved in that wears on us. Sometimes the things that are actually good for the world through service oriented outlets such as church committees, civic organizations, missions, and even social outlets drain us. But maybe it is not the positions we serve in these outlets that are the problem, perhaps instead it is our approach.
Superheroes, and Bees
Have you ever met someone with superhero syndrome? The symptoms can vary and often begin innocently enough with the inability to say no. But these symptoms can quickly multiply into a take charge personality, prideful considerations, achievement envy, overrated abilities, and a solo attitude that it is just easier to ”do it yourself” than to involve others. Those with superhero symptoms need to learn a lesson or two from the bees. They seem to know that when there is real work to be done two is always better than one and even better with three.
On a warm day about half of the bees in a hive stay inside beating their wings while the other half go out to gather pollen and nectar. Because of the beating wings, the temperature inside the hive is about 10 degrees cooler than outside. The bees rotate duties and the bees that cool the hive one day become the honey gathers the next. (Economic Press, 1992) The bees understand that the concept of working together to reach a common goal is necessary for not only the required sustainability of themselves but one another.
What We Can Learn from Geese
Another nature group that understands teamwork are geese. Have you ever watched them fly in pattern? There are several ways they demonstrate how working together benefits all involved. It begins with leadership, as the point goose’s position is one of rotation. When the lead goose gets tired, it changes places with another goose in the wing of the V-formation. This allows not only rest of the one goose but grants other geese the ability to use their skills.
Geese fly in a V pattern formation for a good reason. This formation creates a rising air current for the geese allowing for greater distance using the same amount of energy. The flap of each wing literally creates an uplift for the bird behind it. This allows the entire flock to receive a 71% greater flying range than if they flew alone.
Geese quickly help one another. If a goose gets sick or injured, two birds will fall out of formation with the weak one and follow it down to help protect it. The birds will stay with the straggler until it’s able to fly again.
Perhaps the greatest lesson that the geese teach is that every job is important. For even the rear geese’s position is necessary, for they are the honkers. This seems to be their way of telling those in front that all is well and encourages them to keep flying. No matter what job we are doing we all need the rear geese to encourage us to keep on moving on.
It seems to be the natural instinct of the geese to work together. Whether taking turns at being in charge, flapping to keep everyone moving, helping those in need, or simply making a lot of encouraging sounds they are all in it together reaching one goal through the work of many.
Together Under Christ
As believers we are all gifted in different areas and so we all must work together to do the work of Christ. Our service comes under His authority.Â Believers should strive to work and live together in harmony. God has designed our physical bodies to operate under the power of our brain and our souls to operate under the power of Christ. This is part of our personal responsibility to God for our life.
We each have a purpose and job to do for Christ before we leave this world. It is important that we not only do our small part working with all the other small parts but that we do so enthusiastically. By working together, we are serving together so God’s great work can be accomplished as He desires.
When all believers unite together under the head of Christ, we not only are able to more readily help others but in turn we strengthen the whole body of believers.
”¦so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. Romans 12:5 (NLT)
Together: Helping and Healing God’s People
It is important that when you are trying to achieve unity that you remove selfish ambition. You need to recognize that everyone must work together using the gifts and talents of all. No one’s abilities stand out among the others when employing the attitude of equality.Â This is the harmony of accomplishing the goal rather than operating on separate agendas.
Sometimes even in a group of believers that seek to help others, superhero tendencies surface. Frustration builds among even the most patience people who find themselves working with group members with S.S. (Superhero Syndrome). So how should you approach and learn to work with the member believers appearing to strive for self-achieving goals while avoiding S.S. yourself?
3 Strategies of Reaching Goals with Believers
Prayer – As with all problems, you begin by praying. Asking God to use the individualized unique gifts to contribute to the strength and health of a body of believers to reach a harmonizing goal is the first order.
Focus – You have to focus on your individualized gifts of helping, regardless of what you feel others may or may not be doing. Staying in the bounds of your talents keeps you from reaching outside of your ”lane” into another’s God given area. This helps all reach theÂ ultimate final goal faster as each person focuses on their individualized unique contribution that God granted them.
Example – When other believer’s see your example, they feel less threatened and ideally seek to follow your lead. You may not see immediate results but you can be assured that it will reach the ultimate eternal goals.
Christ commanded believers to work together reaching to achieve the ultimate goal of sharing the Good News through the Word of God. It is not however without its challenges. Your goal in life is to use your God-given gifts with other believers to help others for the sole purpose of honoring God. Your conviction and motivation comes from following His commands under the head of the body of Christ. This keeps you operating within the limits of your particular unique gifts and talents granted by God.
So whether you are a superhero or just work with some, gather them all and unite! For you can find yourself in comfort and rest knowing that God does not expect that you should work alone. For you have an entire body of believers working with you to accomplish His plans.
Love in Christ,
Alone we can do little. Together we can do so much. Hellen Keller
Credits Economic Press. (1992, September 17). Bees. Bits and Pieces, pp. 19-20.Â Economic Press Incorporated. (1994, May 26). 1852 Office Rules. Bits and Pieces, pp. 13-15.
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Do you find it easier to work with a group of believers or alone? Have you ever experienced the symptoms of superhero syndrome? Join us in discussion on working together for Christ.