Prayer: Work with us Lord, to guide us to meaningful vocations. Amen.
Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3: 6-13 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: The first job I had after college was as a high school business teacher in a vocational program. The students operated the school store and prepared for careers in business. The classroom was an open concept with a good portion of the class time spent developing confidence in their chosen specialty, whether it be as a restaurant manager or managing a bike shop. This method of teaching afforded my students a lot of flexibility in their class time as they focused on individualized curriculum.
But without my constant direct supervision not all students could keep themselves on task. Ever-present was the temptation to catch up on the latest gossip with a friend or to linger longer than needed assembling the display case (fortunately there were no Snapchat or Instagram distractions in those days!). And sometimes students would just stare blankly out the windows.
Staying on task and using our talents to their fullest requires constant attention and diligence. It's far easier to divert our focus to simpler pursuits of carefree idleness. We set goals and then find other diversions on our To-Do list that are quicker to check off.
Paul warns us against idleness while extolling the merits of hard work in exchange for reward. Staying busy (and not being a busybody) and contributing to the greater good is not only a worthwhile pursuit but is considered God's Work. May you have purposeful work to do this day! --Andy Gates
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