Labored In Vain / by kevin murray

On any given day, we do a lot of different things, in which some days are spent doing things productively and others not so much.  It is, however, disappointing, when we're worked a hard day, and our boss comes over to our desk and instead of congratulating us on our efforts for that day, instead questions us in regards to whether we have accomplished a particular assignment that he was expecting from us.  It is always a difficult moment when we realize that we either misunderstood what we were supposed to be doing, or misinterpreted our assignment, or worse, in any event these are the times that we feel our face flushing and our embarrassment rising for having disappointed the boss.  Perhaps, you've also had a day in which you have worked hard outside gardening and done quite a bit of work weeding, hoeing, and planting, only to find our later from an expert and respected gardener that you're gone about it all wrong.  These are examples of where you have labored, labored hard, but you have labored in vain.


In Philippians 2:16, we read: "…that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain."   How many of us ask the real question; is what I'm working on right now, the thing that I should be doing?  Questioning yourself is a vital component in the quest of knowing yourself and your purpose in life.  While it is quite possible to blithely find ourselves on the correct path and to make correct decisions, knowing our purpose and knowing what we should be doing and accomplishing it is a far more secure and certain path.


Too many of us make the mistake of simply going with the flow, of doing things a certain way because that's the way it has always been done, but the people that are often the most accomplished, are the ones that "think outside the box", that swim against the tide, that ask and pursue the questions of how, why, and when.  Each of us needs to take the time to contemplate our lives, to take time for those necessary still, quiet, and calm moments, and to listen to our inner voice.  Activity has its place, work has its place, but there is also a time to withdraw from the hurly-burly of worldly activities.


It is imperative that we understand what we are doing, what we are attempting to accomplish, and where we are going.  You cannot find the destination that you seek if you do now know what it really is.  The temporal is not eternal, think of all the great men and women from the past, in which each of these outstanding people are physically dead.  Yet, Shakespeare lives today, because his plays and sonnets are still read, studied, and performed; as does Beethoven, as does Lincoln, because what they have created has eternal significance because the truth, beauty and profundity of their accomplishments still resonate and reverberate till the present day. It isn't fair nor reasonable to expect us to reach those heights, nor do we have to, but it is essential to remember that we what we leave here on this good earth for our family, our friends, our associates, is our example, our actions, our good deeds, our sound advice, and our labor.