As we get back to work from our Labor Day vacations, it is important to reflect on the effort we give our daily work. It is tempting to give our work the absolute minimum amount of effort. We see it as something that "pays the bills" and nothing more. Yet, by doing so we are cheating both ourselves and God.
Saint Josemaria Escriva once said, "What use is it telling me that so and so is a good son of mine — a good Christian — but a bad shoemaker? If he doesn’t try to learn his trade well, or doesn’t give his full attention to it, he won’t be able to sanctify it or offer it to Our Lord. The sanctification of ordinary work is, as it were, the hinge of true spirituality for people who, like us, have decided to come close to God while being at the same time fully involved in temporal affairs."
This idea of giving work our best effort is especially relevant for members of the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network. We offer to God each day our many activities, especially our work. Our work is meant to be a worthy sacrifice, not something that just "pays the bills."
It may be true that what we do for work is not something that we enjoy. Maybe it is cleaning toilets all day or mindlessly going through files for a big corporation; whatever it is, it doesn't have to be without merit. We can make cleaning toilets a most beautiful sacrifice that we can present to God at the end of the day.
It is not what we do, but how we do it.
So the next time you dread going to work, think about offering it as a sacrifice to God. In that way, it helps sanctify the day and creates it into a sweet smelling sacrifice that rises up to God.