The way you organize things says a great deal about you. That’s true even if you don’t organize well or even at all since disorganization is, in a sense, a form of organization. I know because I’m the kind of person who likes to organize things by piles. My desk is like that, pile after pile until there’s not enough room for my laptop at which time I force myself to do something with the piles.
And you know what happens don’t you? Most is thrown away, some things are filed or stored, and a precious few are left on the desk as seed for the next crop of piles I am sure to produce.
So what does it say about our culture and us that we’ve set up a system where most people work for five days and are off for two? More importantly what does it say about us that we tend to look at the five days of work as some form of drudgery to be endured to reach that blissful 48 hour period of liberty and often libertine indulgence?
Some call that “working for the weekend.” I first heard the phrase in a song by Loverboy. You remember it? It had a driving beat with the lead singer in a bright red outfit complete with the essential ‘80’s bandana. The chorus says,
Everybody’s workin’ for the weekend
Everybody wants a new romance
Everybody’s goin’ off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance
You could say the first line of that chorus forms the basis of the Parker area economy I suppose. It’s June so here come our Weekenders, fleeing home and cooler temperatures they flock to the river for fast boats and fun. Like our Snowbirds I’m thankful for the Weekenders because without them most things here would just dry up and blow away.
I’m also happy to say that at least the first line of that chorus is wrong. Not everyone is working for the weekend, though I suspect most people are. Some of us are lucky enough to have a job we enjoy, one that we feel does something important and maybe even meaningful.
Yes we are the few, the lucky (or blessed) few to have found purpose and joy in our work. I’ve had plenty of jobs where both of those things were pretty hard to find. Yet in the long view all jobs are good in the sense that they help our country and our economy to keep on chugging along. Loading and unloading trucks and stocking shelves might be boring and dull, but we’d all starve to death without it.
The real problem is organization. To set up a way of thinking that pits work against play is a colossally stupid idea in the first place. Why shouldn’t work be thought of as part of life’s meaning, not as something that gets in the way of finding it?
Clearly life can’t go on without work. Should we ever get to the point where machines do everything for us it’ll be a bad and sad day. Remember how bored you were after about a week or two of summer vacation when you were a kid?
I do. “Mom, I’m bored!” echoed through our house for most of the summer. Then came August and preparing to go back to school. Suddenly each moment became much more precious and important to me. I wanted to squeeze as much fun as possible out of those days before I had to return to school once more.
Both work and play, as different as they may be, are part of what makes life meaningful. Both are chances to not just take care of yourself and your needs, but to contribute to meeting the wants and needs of others.
If we work and play correctly we’ll end up using all (or at least most) of the talents we were given at birth. That’s true fulfillment knowing I’m doing the best I can with everything I’ve been given for the benefit of as many people as possible.
If we can ever get work and play to cooperate in our lives then we’ll really have something worthwhile. Sure, most people will also be more excited about play, that’s to be expected. But when we can acknowledge that both have value and are needed in our lives, we’ll all be better off.
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Louie Marsh is pastor of Christ’s Church on the River on the Parker Strip. Visit the website HERE.