David Miller is the founding director of Princeton University’s Faith and Work Initiative. He writes about his work in this way:
“As I was slogging through Hebrew vocabulary, I came across the word AVODAH. The root of that word is translated three ways in the Old Testament.
Sometimes it is translated to mean “work” as in a job. Other times, AVODAH is translated to mean “worship”, as in praising God. The third way it is translated is to mean “service”, as in serving others. That’s what my whole calling is about: AVODAH. Whether one is a secretary or a CEO, our work itself can be a form of honoring God, of worshiping God, and of serving neighbor.”
If you do a word search on “work” in the New Testament, you come up with very few references to employment. “Work” is all about what we are
doing for the realm of God. It is work as Jesus did it… self-giving, compassion, truth-telling, healing.
Perhaps these are good ways to think about our own work as we celebrate this Labor Day. No matter what we do for a living, we need to pay
attention to our life. Especially to our life with God. David Whyte puts it this way in his book “Crossing the Unknown Sea”:
“To set our boldly in our work is to make a pilgrimage of our labors, to understand that the consummation of work lies not only in what we have done,
but in who we have become while accomplishing the task.”
Who will you become if you see your work as AVODAH… a job, a worship, a service?