Centuries ago, the working class looked on as the gentry and royalty appeared to live lavish, entertainment-filled lives. So much of what the wealthy class did was simply to dress and re-dress for each meal just to fill their time and keep from being bored. They also were subject to silly required social rules that made little sense and sometimes choked true fellowship. The plebeians watched this with desire as their backs ached from working in the field all day or their arms hurt from hand-milking five cows and lugging the 18 gallons of milk up to the manor house kitchen every day.
I believe our own hopes to find a life where we can simply entertain ourselves stems partly from this history. At the very least, we look upon celebrities, choked with their own silly social rules, or the uber wealthy with their purportedly glamor-filled lives and long to be free from our 9-to-5 drudge to do whatsoever our whims of the day dictate. But is it right? Is it pleasing to God?
When God created Adam, He gave Adam a job, even in Eden, before the fall of humanity. Work is good. Paul told us in Romans 12:11 to "never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically." We shouldn't strive to have a life where we spend the majority of our time entertaining ourselves (that's selfishness and it's sin). Instead we should strive to be more of a producer than a consumer. How much time is wasted on the internet, watching meaningless YouTube clips or trolling so called "social media"? What does that fulfill? Nothing! We ache in our society-inflicted loneliness so we utilize these tools we are told are "social" but are no different from the Hostess Ding-Dongs from the big box store – totally void of nutrition, and are in fact, filled with poison like sugar and frankenfood we can't even pronounce. Our tummies feel stuffed, but our bodies still do not have what they truly need for life and health. We were created to be in communion with one another and with God. That requires work to be physically and emotionally present.
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Christopher Anthony Lunsford, aka Oliver Anthony, the songwriter of the iTunes No. 1 hit "Rich Men North of Richmond" recently stated: "I HATE the way the internet has divided all of us. The internet is a parasite that infects the minds of humans and has their way with them. Hours wasted, goals forgotten, loved ones sitting in houses with each other distracted all day by technology made by the hands of other poor souls in sweat shops in a foreign land. When is enough, enough? When are we going to fight for what is right again? MILLIONS have died protecting the liberties we have. Freedom of speech is such a precious gift. Never in world history has the world had the freedom it currently does. Don't let them take it away from you." The man is a gifted and clear-seeing poet, and I hope his No. 1 song becomes the working man's anthem many are predicting it to be.
Have we been hypnotized to drool over the idea of a "universal basic income" with zero input from ourselves? It can't work! The government has got to get the money from somewhere. When Stalin tried something like this it resulted in catastrophic loss of life both from his power-drunken, merciless purges and from starvation because people refused to work. Farmers slaved to make something good for themselves and their families and community only for the government to come and forcefully take it away from them, purportedly to distribute it to others when in reality it was for the power-mongers to hoard for themselves. I can very easily see why the poor farmers would choose to give up. If the work I'm putting in never amounts to the necessary goals of self and family and community care, why bother? Especially when so many others around me have given up too.
No, something for nothing is a lie! And expecting to be taken care of by government is a recipe for tyranny! The Lord has placed us here to work, and He has ordained that we will find satisfaction, fulfillment and a greater sense of self-worth in the completion of a job well done: feelings sorely lacking in today's world!
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Do you feel a sense of satisfaction in the work of your hands? Are you running the rat race, saving up for retirement so you can sit back and play? May I suggest you rethink that? When Adam and Eve sinned, the earth was cursed. Adam was told that he would have food only by the sweat of his brow. Our focus to catch the ride to easy street is simply a flesh-driven desire to wriggle out of what God decreed. We cannot thwart God! I firmly believe that He was not actively punishing Adam there but rather stating the reality of how things would be from that point. In fact, I believe He gave us work to keep our hands from being too idle and therefore subject to greater evils perpetrated upon ourselves. In a sense, it was a mercy.
Just think what an army of benevolence we would have if those who have managed to retire and are still in relatively good health were to give just two days a week to some worthy cause at their local church. How much less would our government feel responsible for if the church were to step up and fill some gaps like job training, food banks, child care? The list could go on and on with the wealth of talent sitting in the pews on Sundays.
I encourage you, reader, go read your Bible; better yet, do it with your family or a buddy or two. Volunteer to help out somewhere, anywhere. Call an old friend or family member and have a good long talk. Make plans to start a garden or make a piece of furniture. Cook something from scratch. Turn off all the screens in your life and go make something useful, regularly. If we all did that, I think we'd find ourselves to be a great deal happier group, and a lot better off in physical ways too!
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