Efficient Work

As a feature of the general belief that a man's living has to be earned, the topic of vocation is receiving ever increasing emphasis. Much time is spent upon preparation for one's work in life, and many agencies assist in the choice of an occupation. The actual execution of the work, however, is too often based upon a merely human sense of man's capabilities, and consequently fails to be "characterized by energetic and useful activity," according to the dictionary definition of efficiency.

Behind all the work there seems to be more or less patient resignation to the servitude of tilling the ground, an acceptance of the decree passed upon Adam: "Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life." And often as a variant of rebellious discontent we find pride in the sense of martyrdom, self clamoring for recognition by glorying in the heaviness of its burdens, forgetting that Jesus defined his burden as light. Again, as an instance of self-justification, we see a conviction that exhaustion must follow any great effort, that the pendulum of man's being must swing back to weakness from strength, a result of the belief that energy is physical and limited. Oftentimes achievement of any sort is denied; there seems to be only a purposeless round of effort. If results are visible, diligence and striving are rarely begrudged, but lack of progress makes labor a mere treadmill.

Spiritual Ideas and Material Concepts
July 17, 1915

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