The Oasis - September 1, 2021
Author: Rev. Eric Dupee
September 01, 2021
As Labor Day approaches, I’m mindful that finding work-life balance has been difficult for many of us. During the pandemic, many workers have been working from home, which has its advantages. It also comes with potential disadvantages. In an article by Elaine Meyer in Yes! magazine, Andrew Pakes explains that the conflation of private space and work space has led to difficulty in what he calls “switching off.” He writes, “How do you put a bad day at work behind you if your office is also your kitchen or your dining room or your spare room?”
I’m not advocating for this, but in the same article, Meyer cites a study suggesting there can be benefits to a shorter work week. Regarding New Zealand company Perpetual Guardian, she writes, “After the company shifted its more than 240 employees to a four-day work week – without cutting pay – employees’ stress levels decreased by 7%, while job engagement increased by 40%, according to an independent study the company commissioned.”
As I look out my window, I see one of the dedicated cemetery workers cutting the grass. I consider it an important ministry to maintain the grounds at First Parish Cemetery. Our cemetery workers assist grieving families and the town as a whole in a number of ways. I’m a big believer that most if not every job can be viewed as ministry. If it involves serving people and caring for their needs, it’s a ministry.
My heart goes out to people who struggle with work-life balance, to those who are without meaningful work, and to those whose income has been negatively affected by the pandemic. I hope these words of Marianne Williamson will be meaningful to you. She wrote, “No matter what we do, we can make it our ministry. No matter what form our job or activity takes, the content is the same as everyone else’s: we are here to minister to human hearts. If we talk to anyone, or see anyone, or even think of anyone, then we have the opportunity to bring more love into the universe. From a waitress to the head of a movie studio, from an elevator operator to the president of a nation, there is no one who’s job is unimportant to God.”