[This blog is an adaptation of a personal journal entry I made on December 16, 2016 as I reflected upon the joy and privilege of working with and for God. I've adapted it here for use with a group like a Life Team who also gets to work with and for this God. You could, for example, take turns reading one paragraph at a time at an upcoming Team meeting to enter into a time of thanksgiving and praise. Grace and truth, Pastor Doug]
Lord, we want to take a little time to tell you how much we enjoy working with and for you in life ministry. So, here goes....
We enjoy the fact that working with you is so stress-free from a performance perspective. Even though you're our boss, you never look at us with a long, hard, critical stare. You don't live in perpetual "performance review" mode. We can't tell you how wonderful it is to never have to nervously look over our shoulders at you in fear that you're about to bring the hammer down on us for some mistake we've made.
We so enjoy your gentleness with us as individuals and as a team. When we head in the wrong direction, there you are gently getting us back on track. When we hurt you or each other, you patiently endure it and carefully correct us. The way you guide and guard us with such awareness of our frailty is amazing. As people made of dust, we're so grateful for your gentleness with us.
We also enjoy your skill as a work partner. You do everything supremely well! When it comes to things that are your responsibility, you always do the right things the right way. We love to look at the stuff you've worked on. We marvel at your craftsmanship.
We think it's amazing when you take the initiative to do things that will benefit us. You've done that so many times that we've lost track. It's particularly cool when you've been at work doing something that we're unaware of, and then you present your work in such a dramatic way. One example of this was your initiating something with Amy in California. Just look what your work on that has done for our ministry. It's so great to have a partner who is a go-getter like you are.
We enjoy your reliability, too. You always show up on time and you always complete your work on time. You're never late. You never call in sick. You never even sleep. You're always "on the job," working on your responsibilities 'round the clock. We've never seen a partner as faithful and hardworking as you.
We enjoy your positive attitude, too. You're excited to work on the things we work on and you're excited to work with us. You show up every single day with a positive disposition. You enjoy our entire team. It's almost like we can hear you whistle while you're working. You even respond well to hard circumstances. Yep, you maintain your positive attitude when nobody else has a positive attitude. You are like a constant sunbeam on our team. With an attitude like yours, your very presence makes all the difference, especially when times get rough.
We really like how you keep reminding us that you're glad for the fruit and for all our hard work, but that it's us that you love regardless of any of that stuff. It's so liberating and invigorating to have a boss who genuinely loves us no matter what and who tells us so on a daily basis. To be beloved no matter what might be the most wonderful thing about you and your presence with us at work.
We're glad that you like to have fun at work and that you like to celebrate things. We're so glad that you're not some somber, sullen, nose-to-the-grindstone kind of partner. When something good happens, we love it that you're right there inviting us to celebrate. It makes such a big difference to us that you value enjoyment at work and that you find work itself an enjoyable and noble endeavor.
We so enjoy that fact that you're in charge. What a relief! Because of you and your commitment to our team, we get to let go of responsibility for outcomes. What a stress reliever this is! Because of you, we get to carry out our little yet important duties without bearing the burden of bigger things like results and reactions and responses.
We enjoy working with you because you're always encouraging. We amazed that you never need encouragement, yet you offer an endless gush of encouragement to us and to others. It's great that even if we miss an opportunity to encourage someone that you've still "got it." In fact, it's super cool to see how you encourage people around us without our knowledge or involvement. You are so good at that, Lord.
When we're struck by zingers, we're so glad that you have this wonderful ability to turn them into blessings. We can remember several times when hard or painful things have happened at work and you worked those very things into occasions for joy and celebration. Who else can do this? While we're all sulking or sobbing, there you are bringing beauty from ashes right before our teary eyes.
We know this may sound strange, Lord, but we also enjoy the fact that we never have to pay you. And we don't just mean not giving you a literal paycheck. We mean not needing to give you anything at all to make sure that you'll bring everything you are to our partnership every day. We're so glad that we don't need to "pay" you with our own good attitude to make sure that you have a good attitude. We're so glad that we don't need to always do a perfect job in order to ensure that you do a perfect job. In fact, we're extremely glad that you are who you are and that you do what you do despite the lousy working conditions that often exist in and around us. You are extremely kind and generous in this way. You give without complaining. You work without demanding payment. In a word, you are so very gracious. Lord, thank you for being all that you are, and for letting us work with you.