by Christopher Strackman (New York)
Work crews were a great experience that allowed me to grow in my biblical understanding of work and to grow in appreciation for work. Before each work crew Terry and Anthony, who are the maintenance supervisors for Snow Wolf Lodge, began with a 20-minute class to help us better understand the theology of work. Much of the teaching was based upon Tim Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor.
We started off learning that work was something that God called us to do even before the fall. We were taught that God’s design for work offers opportunities for us to bring order by cultivating the earth and caring for it. Anthony and Terry continued to explain how work was affected by the Fall, saying that in work our efforts can sometimes bear no fruit. They also said that we can use work just to elevate ourselves and become selfish in our work.
We can often idolize our work to give us meaning.
As we concluded the class, we discussed that, as Christians, we are to work for God with humility, compassion, and submission. We do this even if it doesn’t seem rewarding or when the culture does not share our view of work or shares the same behavior towards work as we do.
Through work crews, I was able to do a lot to care for God’s creation and practice what I learned through Anthony and Terry. During work crews, I maintained the property by pulling weeds, sanding and staining the wood fences around the lodge, and doing fire mitigation on the property. As I continued with work crews I began to have a better appreciation for the property of Snow Wolf Lodge and the work that went into maintaining it.
It also made me even more grateful for being here than when I first came.
I worked with Terry, who taught me how to take apart a truck engine and fix it. This allowed me to understand how to take care of motor vehicles and the importance of maintaining them.
This experience has mainly taught me that I need to maintain and care for what God has given me. I will develop more gratitude and appreciation towards God and what he has given me. When I get back to my normal job in retail I now have an understanding of the importance of representing Christ well by living humbly, compassionately, and submissively to authority while I work, as well as do my job to the best of my ability.