“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~Thomas Edison
The energy and strength for working hard is typically fueled by the combination of focused passion, clear purpose and the right priorities. A person whose passion, purpose and priorities are aligned in this way won’t need a pep talk to get them started. They are highly motivated to tackle any challenge set before them in order to achieve their goal. The Apostle Paul is a great example of this principle.
“Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you.” (1 Thessalonians 2:9 NLT)
Imagine a highly motivated athlete who has focus and intensity in his preparation to compete well. He draws energy and discipline from his commitment not only to be ready, but to also be at his best. He loves to compete. He also knows that in order to compete well, he has to work hard at practice and prepare himself for the competition.
A dedicated musician doesn’t need anyone to remind her to practice. She feels her passion, she knows her purpose and she has set the right priorities. They are what energize her to spend hours preparing for a performance. She loves making music. Hours pass like minutes.
What passions, purpose and priorities give you the energy and strength to work hard for your particular goal or prize? But most importantly, what costs are you willing to pay to achieve the prize you hope to gain?
Working hard can either be a blessing or a curse. It can be healthy or unhealthy. There is always the danger in becoming so driven by passion to achieve more that you lose sight of your true purpose and priorities. A workaholic is so addicted to activity that he doesn’t give much thought to the price he is paying. Always keep a clear image of what true victory looks like. Have others hold you accountable so you stay focused on your true purpose and right priorities.
As a Christian leader your hard work must be framed with an eternal purpose and perspective. Working hard to the glory of God, fueled by our passion to serve Him well and guided by His purpose and priorities, results in an ever-lasting prize. Your work is an act of ministry and worship. Always remember to take time to rest and keep a sense of rhythm and balance between work and play. You have to be well rested in order to do hard work.
Be intentional about how will you glorify God through your work today. Make sure your passions and priorities are aligned with God’s purpose for your life and leadership. This approach will give you endless energy to accomplish the hard work ahead in His strength.