March 5, 2012
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“Working With Joy!“
Friday afternoon we encountered a local cultural experience in shopping at BB’s Grocery Outlet, an Amish “supermarket” in rural Schaefferstown, PA. It’s a discount store with the interesting slogan, “Bents, Bumps and Bunch of Bargains”. (I suppose the poor grammar adds to the folksiness).
As most people know the Amish have some restrictions that seem peculiar to us regarding the use of certain types of modern technology. Based upon our friendship with a number of Amish these restrictions can be peculiar to them as well!
BB’s seems rather dark inside because they don’t use electric lights. Once you enter the store the skylights are adequate, though they do have gas lanterns mounted and use them as needed (which was not the case during our Friday shopping experience). The gas lantern shown to the left is over the entrance door. Loud generators provide electricity for refrigeration and the cash registers.
Throughout the store we heard Amish ladies of all ages singing as they stocked the shelves and even one young lady sang as she checked out customers at the cash register! They seemed rather oblivious to the mostly non-Amish customers. Although I didn’t recognize the words or tune of their songs, I understand they were singing hymns, many which reflect their joy and strong work ethic.
Today most of us begin another work week. How’s your attitude toward your work today? Mondays are dreaded by many with an outlook of the long workweek ahead. The TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday) outlook seems to permeate our society. It reflects an attitude that the work week is finally over and now real living can begin (weekend party time).
But God’s Word says, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” which would apply to every day of the week! That is a constantly present tense reality. Each day is the day that the Lord has made and on each day we are called to rejoice and be glad.
Solomon makes a point so needed today: “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 8:15). Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23).
Notice the phrase in the second daily Scripture text that states, “Joy will accompany him in his work.” What a great perspective to enjoy the work we do realizing that God has providentially placed us in our present job position. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). “Always” would surely include time spent at work.
The Amish people stocking shelves were not doing the kind of work we normally associate with being fulfilling. Anyone who has worked in retail knows the frustration of putting items neatly on display only to have customers move things around or worse yet, change their minds about an item and dispose of it far from its original location. Yet their joy was contagious and I smile as I reflect upon the experience.
Today, like wise Solomon, we commend you to the enjoyment of life and specifically that joy will accompany you in your work all the days of the life. This day do your work wholeheartedly and let the light of Christ shine through you!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, we find pleasure and fulfillment in our work when we work at it heartily, as for You, primarily. We thank You for giving us the wherewithal to provide an income for our family where our financial needs are met. Certainly each workplace has its challenges, but as we look to You for strength, endurance and wisdom to deal with those challenges we find joy, thanksgiving, and fulfillment in our work. May others see heaven sent joy flow from our lives as we spread mutual respect and a strong work ethic in the workplace. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Any given day we prepare these messages we are aware of heartache in the world. Today we especially consider the devastating tornadoes in the Midwest and are praying for these folks.
“Joy Unspeakable” Video Curt McKee Not the hymn I am familiar with but a nice sound and especially so since it reminds me of a pastor friend, Jim Gambini.
Here’s a sample of Amish children singing at a one room school. We have been to an Amish school for special programs and can testify that this is really what it sounds and looks like! Video
Tomorrow we are taking the train into Philadelphia to attend the Philadelphia International Flower Show. We have an Amtak station in Mount Joy.
For the curious and local bargain hunter BB’s Grocery Outlet in Schaefferstown, PA is located in southern Lebanon County where we also passed the colorful Schaefferstown fire hall. Google Map
We traveled this route on Friday to drive through the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in northern Lancaster County where thousands of snow geese stop each spring on their way north. Our friend Doris High has an outstanding photo collection.
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