A bunch of us had some fun over this weekend playing sushi chef. The result?
For those who haven’t seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, it’s a great documentary about Jiro, a sushi chef who has dedicated his life to his craft. Even if you aren’t interested in sushi, it’s a worthwhile watch and has a lot of lessons on dedication, handwork, and the pursuit of excellence. At one point Jiro says, “Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success.”
I think many of us are envious of someone who is able to view his or her job in that way. Oftentimes, even if we are in fields that we enjoy, work can become tedious and mundane. I just read a great book, Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller, about how sin has affected not just our view of work, but our experience of work as well. As God’s image bearers, we are created for purpose, to do work that matters, but sin has brought frustration both in the results of work, and also our motivations to work. Instead of working to fulfill our role to image God throughout creation, we are tempted to find our significance in our accomplishments, making work another idol that replaces God in our lives.
I’ll probably write another post about the book when I have processed it more, but for now, I was just encouraged to remember that yes we should strive for excellence in our work, but not simply as an end goal. We strive for excellence because of the God that we do our work for. As one retreat speaker used to say, we should pursue excellence for His Excellency. This goes out to all who are feeling the Monday work blues.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24