Turning Meaningless Drudgery into Meaningful Work:
How to Prioritize God, Family, and Work
Whether you work at home or in an office, nobody wants to feel like a gerbil on a wheel. Work is meant to be more than that, and deep inside we all know it. Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve worked. Our Blessed Mother Mary worked in the kitchen, and her husband Joseph and son Jesus worked at the carpenter’s bench. Work has always been a way that we humans find fulfillment and purpose in life, a way that we can make a visible difference in the world around us.
A lot of effort can be poured into finding a “dream” job or career, and that’s certainly a worthy goal. But sometimes we’re called to bloom where we’re planted and to recognize that all work has value in the eyes of God. As Manny and Karee say in Chapter Four of The Four Keys, “The value of our work can be measured by the love and care we put into it. Even the smallest, most mundane task can be a kind of offering to God. Just look up from your work and think silently, ‘My Lord, this is for you.’” Realizing the supernatural worth of our work will help us to prioritize correctly: first, God; then, family; and last, work.
In Chapter Four, Manny and Karee show how hard work can enhance our reputation and self-esteem and how God’s will always has a place in our career decisions. They describe a uniquely Catholic work ethic and explore the special challenges women face in crafting a work-life balance. In addition, Chapter Four will help you to:
- See work as a blessing, not a burden
- Make family-friendly career choices
- Fairly distribute chores at home
- Work for a higher purpose with God as your ultimate “boss”
You can use the following conversation starters to get a discussion going among yourselves or in a small group. If it helps, think it over on your own time, take it to prayer, and jot down your answers before talking about them.
1. What priority does work have in your life?
2. What led you to choose your particular work or career?
3. Do you struggle to balance home life and work life? What strategies have or haven’t helped you find that balance?
4. How did your parents balance home life and work life? Will that model work for you?
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