My daughter was having trouble recently deciding on what to major in at college, so she asked my advice. I told her the one thing I wish that I had been told at her age: "Find a career that you love and you will never work a day." She caught me off guard, though, when she next asked what she should do if she couldn’t get that career right away. What should she do if she had to take a job that she hated?
That question brought back a lot of memories of jobs that I had worked at over the years. I remembered one in particular. My young family was struggling. We had no money and there were no good jobs to be had in the area. My brother, however, was able to get me a job at a local lumber mill. The work was hard and meant constant pain for my back. Hours were spent loading and stacking lumber. The pay was just above minimum wage. In the winter the skin on my fingers split and bled from the cold, dry air. The job turnover was high. In the several years I worked there only the four of us supporting families didn’t leave to look for something better.
Still, I also remembered singing hymns to myself while I stacked and loaded that lumber. I remembered the jokes and laughter we all shared during lunch and on breaks. I remembered as I pushed the lumber carts, glancing out the window and joyously watching the leaves changing in the Fall. I remembered how a simple sandwich tasted like the greatest gourmet meal in the world after 4 hours of hard work. I remembered thanking God for this job so I could feed my family. Remembering all this gave me the answer I needed for my daughter. "Just bring your love to your job then sweetheart," I said. "If you can’t do what you love then love what you do."
In this life we work to live, but we live to love. Without love work is drudgery. Yet, with love work is joy. May all of your working days then be full of love, joy, goodness, and God.
Joe Mazzella lives in the mountains of West Virginia, USA with his wife and three children. He writes articles for local newspapers but derives happiness from the joy and love he shares with others.. Joe can be reached at; firstname.lastname@example.org