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November 21, 2011

Work Crews and Worship

Work Crews and Worship

Hi, my name is Natalie DeBerg! I am from the great state of Iowa and my blog is about what I did for work crews today. We have work crews every Tuesday and Friday afternoon, when we help with the upkeep of the property and buildings here. Today for work crews I got to help paint the bedroom of Dustin Jizmejian's little boy, two-year-old Rafferty. 

Let me describe the scene for you: six Summit students ranging from age eighteen to twenty, one crew leader (who is in all honestly pretty awesome), an ample supply of music ranging from Switchfoot to Lecrae, five Gallons of paint, thirteen paint brushes, and enough laughter to give you an ab work out. The mission? Turn four walls from a chocolaty brown to a milky white in about six hours. Could it be done?

During those six hours I had a lot of time to think specially about the importance of work. Here are some of the questions I pondered: “How has my attitude towards work changed since my time here?”  “What is the purpose of doing this work if someone is just going to have to repaint a new coat in a couple years?” “Why am I working here?” 

Since the creation of the world, God has given man work to do. During the last couple of weeks here, Nathan, the property manager and leader of work crews, has been talking to us about the importance of being diligent workers in all areas of life. Whether we are sanding the lodge wood panels or chopping carrots in the kitchen, Nathan has encouraged us to our jobs with diligence.  He has also talked a lot about how work is not just a responsibility but a way to glorify God.  If we consider our work as an act of worship or service to God, such a mindset can take away some of the drudgery and boredom of it. When we work without complaining or having a bad attitude ,it’s just another way of saying, “God I want to honor you in all I do; the BIG and the small. I give you praise.”

In 1Thessalonians 4:11 it says: “Make it your ambition to lead a quite life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you.” This verse emphasizes that there is more to Christian living than simply loving other Christians. We must be responsible in all areas of life. In 2 Thessalonians chapter 3, Christians are warned about being idle. Knowing the difference between leisure and laziness is very important to a Christian’s daily walk. My dear friend Sarah Donley has a catchy little poem that goes like this: 

Work while you work,

Play while you play,

One thing each time

That is the way.

All that you do

Do with your might,

Because things done in halves

Are not done right.

Relaxation and recreation provide a necessary and much needed balance to our lives. When it is time to work, however, Christians should jump right in. We should make the most of our talents and time and give the whole of ourselves to whatever work God asks us to do.

I would consider painting walls one of my “talents “ and something that I actually quite enjoy. I guess that I can thank my Dad for that, since he is a very handy and “fix-it” kind of guy. Since I come from a family with five energetic and rambunctious kids, I think it goes without saying that there is always something in need of repair at my house. Also, every summer when I was a little girl, I would help my Dad with his company’s annual “Paint-a-thon,” so I got a lot of practice painting houses for people in our community. I guess God knew all along the skills that I would need in coming to Summit Semester. I am certainly thankful for all the skills that my parents taught me at a young age and the example that they set for hard work.  I am also thankful for all that I am learning here at Summit Semester about holistic living. 

Needless to say, the mission of painting Rafferty’s room was accomplished. The painters ended up with more paint on themselves than on the wall. But that’s another story for another time. For now, I want to leave you with a verse that has challenged me during the last couple of weeks as I consider the value of work:

Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do work at it with all your might as working for the Lord and not for man.”

Natalie came straight to Summit Semester from the last summer session of Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs. The “action packed, hard core sessions, and awesome speakers brought a turning-point in her life,” and she is excited to see God work to form her passions, skills, mind, and heart during her time here. She has spent the last year studying toward her degree in nursing at Southeastern Community College. She also has a heart for international missions, and bringing a pro-life message to her culture. She loves cooking, hanging out with family and friends, reading, and shopping. 

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