Wisdom for Work
Wisdom for Work
Partnering with God at work
It’s amazing what modern science is teaching us about how the human brain works. For instance, did you know that when you do a repetitive task your brain can remember how to do it without you directly thinking about it? It forms ‘neural pathways’ – Google it if you’re interested, but for now all you need to know is that your brain is really good at remembering how to do stuff!
Take, for instance, playing a scale on a guitar or a piano. At first, learning the scale takes time. You need to really focus to place your fingers in the right position on the fretboard or keys. After practice, though, you can play the scale without thinking where to place your fingers. Amazing! That’s your genius brain at work.
God designed us to get better and better at a whole host of tasks. That’s why the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ has a whole lot of truth in it. In Isaiah 28:23–29 God speaks of a farmer who is really good at his job; he knows when and where to plant the right seed so that it thrives. And the farmer knows exactly how he should harvest his crop, and which tools to use so that it can be turned into food to eat. God is using this example to refer to his relationship with Israel. God knows exactly what to do with his people in order to bring about the best for them. We should trust his wisdom. In the middle of this, though, God makes a wonderful comment about how he partners with us in work: ‘Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in its field? His God instructs him and teaches him the right way.’
Sometimes God gives us wisdom for a particular task that needs doing, for example in Exodus 31 we read that God anointed Bezalel and Oholiab as they worked on crafting the tabernacle. But most of God’s equipping us for work has already been done by giving us the miracle that is the human brain. It’s incredible what we can ‘learn’ to do. And our brain is hungry for information so we can improve. That’s partly why some scientists think we’re so hooked to the internet: lots and lots of lovely new facts and lessons for us to absorb. Yet we have to ‘use it or lose it’. Your brain loves a good challenge, so remember to work it well. Don’t just feed it TV, computer games and celebrity gossip! You’ll be surprised how satisfying you find overcoming challenges, and how you improve with practice. ‘Brain training’ is something we should all be involved in, in order to improve ourselves and our world. Remember that God made us to look after and take care of the created order, so don’t be surprised that he gave us a fantastic tool for the job. What will you and your amazing brain accomplish?
Jason is a youth pastor at St Peter’s in Harrow.
This article was adapted from the Soul Survivor Youth Bible. Find out more http://shop.soulsurvivor.com/books/soul-survivor-youth-bible-11