When we do not know what to do we can always find our way in scripture. What incredible direction we receive here in Thessalonians. “Make it [our] ambition to lead a quiet life.” Oftentimes, we make it our ambition to seek and find our path. Whether that be in a career, finding a partner, or generally just finding our place in this world. What we forget is that our place is right where we are. Leading a life that is full and quiet is an incredible place to inhabit. What could happen if we made that our ambition? When we take this perspective of living we know exactly what to do.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 NIV
Working with expectation for return is where the world trips us up all the time. We work not for the sake of the goodness our work provides. Instead we work for a reward. This way of living puts no trust in God and His provision for our lives. When we work for the good of others and ourselves with no expectation of return we find that a harvest will be reaped at just the right time. Working in this way allows us to find simple joy each day. Not looking for the reward, but delighting in the work. Becoming fixed on the outcome will leave us feeling lost much of the time. Staying satisfied with doing good all the time keeps us squarely planted in what to do every time.
Galatians 6:9 NIV
Considerations for your planner:
- What are your ambitions? Is one of them to lead a quiet life? Write them down.
- What do you work for? Write down all the reasons and reflect on if you can let them go and work for the sake of doing good.
A Story of Delighting in Work:
Today my oldest child asked me about my parents. I had to explain to him that they were divorced and remarried. Then I said my step dad lived with my mom. He then asked, “what is a step dad?” I explained to him that he was another kind of dad, but someone that also loved me when I was little.
When I thought about my step dad, I thought about the man he was in my life. He was present and kind. He led a simple life, but was always content. I have not seen him in 8 years and our relationship has become distant. Regardless of the distance I know his life is still steady and quiet. Ready to receive me and my family at any time.
When I think of making one’s life ambition to lead a quiet life, I think of him. His life has always been an example of stable simplicity. I know that is not all of what his life is, but it makes me smile today and appreciate the example he is in my life. I thank God for bringing him into my life.
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