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March 10, 2023

Ep. 71 | Work: Soul Draining or Sacramental?

In this week’s episode, Nathan shares how he’s changed his mindset about work since leaving his government job and starting his companies. You’ll learn how he handles what can feel like “soul crushing” labor. Also, he share’s what…
Life on Target
Life on Target
Ep. 71 | Work: Soul Draining or Sacramental?
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In this week’s episode, Nathan shares how he’s changed his mindset about work since leaving his government job and starting his companies. You’ll learn how he handles what can feel like “soul crushing” labor. Also, he share’s what Benedictine monks taught him at one of the lowest points of his entrepreneurial journey.

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Transcript:

[00:00:00] Welcome back to the life on target podcast. I’m your host, Nathan spearing, bringing you a episode on what I’ve learned. The last seven or so years about work. How I have transformed my mindset about it, to where, when it is difficult. When it is hard when it is. Soul draining or feels like it is. My process.

[00:00:27] Four. Reorienting my perspective on it, my way of working through it. And this was sparked because I got a question this week from someone that said that they feel like their. Work his soul draining. They don’t like being in an office. The bright spot is that they have a boss that is a Christian and understands it, but they don’t feel like they’re good at it. And they want to.

[00:00:53] Change careers or thinking about changing careers or thinking about starting their own business and what kind of feedback would I have? And this [00:01:00] caused me to go back to my. Journey. When I was upset about my work when I didn’t like it. Talked about it a little bit before, but I don’t think I’ve zoomed in.

[00:01:13] On it that much. And. So I pulled back out the book that hit me. Like a ton of bricks when I read it. It’s the Benedict option. And it’s by rod Drayer. But. Goes through and follows kind of the Benedictine monasteries process. Their motto is work and prayer. They’re not about. Shutting themselves up away from society. Thereabout actually.

[00:01:49] Doing real things, but using that work as a way to drive them to prayer. So the Benedictines view their [00:02:00] work as an expression of love and stewardship of their community. And as a way of reordering the natural world in harmony. With God’s will. So that’s a quote from the chapter on work. And I think that.

[00:02:16] Ultimately. The way that I was able to. Take joy and rejoice. In my toil, as it says in Ecclesiastes, behold, what have I seen to be good and fitting? Is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil, with which one toils under the sun, the few days of his life that God has given him. For this is his lot.

[00:02:47] So understanding that work is toilets. I think. But I told this young man that reached out to me is that we have an improper. View [00:03:00] of work in that we think if we can just find our passion, find the thing that we’re good at. That work will be easy. Work will be fun. Work will. Fulfill a deep need in our being that we have, and it will just.

[00:03:20] Meet everything. The reality is that work is cursed at this point. That we are not in communion with God. As our first father and mother were. In the garden with God, but that sin has put distance between us and God. And now we have a mediator. Our elder brother, Jesus. That sits at the right hand of the father. And.

[00:03:49] Intercedes for us. And we have to accept. The post-fall. Nature of work in that [00:04:00] it will require the sweat of our brow, that there will be things fighting us and particularly for a Christian working. The devil. And your flesh don’t give the devil all the credit. You are a sinful son of a gun too, and you just pout and whine in our little brat about stuff as well.

[00:04:19] But the nature of it is going to be, to want to whine about it, to want it to, uh, suck the soul from you as is said by this young man. And. I think that I’m not saying that I haven’t gone through that. I haven’t. As I still don’t have to fight that. On a daily basis, but I think. Just embracing. That there is not going to be.

[00:04:45] Rest from our toil. And the in rest, in the ultimate sense. Until Christ comes again. And so sometimes just. Analyzing the problem and [00:05:00] making sure that you realize that it’s not going to change. It’s going to be hard. There’s going to be toil. You’re going to want a pout about it. You’re going to want to, and so.

[00:05:11] The Benedictine I want to. You just read there. The cook father basil. Of the Benedictine, monastery, how he talks about work and, and then tie that back to when I first heard this. So he says, ultimately work serves as an expression of charity of love. And that is what all work really should be. This is a lesson. We have to work on all our lives to learn.

[00:05:39] Work is not something in ort I do in order to get something. Doing it is good for me. It’s constructive of my happiness because in it, and through it, I show love for others. We’re called to love work is a con. Concerted way. [00:06:00] Of showing our love for others. In that sense? I, it can become very transformative and very prayerful to.

[00:06:08] Too often it’s seen as a burden. And it doesn’t have to be. If we approach work as a burden, something’s wrong. In here. He said pointing to his heart. The problem needs to be fixed primarily here. In the heart. And when I heard this, the first time I was listening to this book on audio. I was at a point where I was essentially working for free on a remodel, and I didn’t have a lot of money either. I was having trouble paying my bills and I had a scope of work.

[00:06:41] That I had to complete for the client. Even though. I was, had already spent more time than I had expected. I hadn’t figured out how to bill properly. Hadn’t figured out how to value my skill and time and communicate it. The client wasn’t doing anything wrong. The client was [00:07:00] incredibly peaceful, incredibly good to work for paid on time.

[00:07:04] Glowing. In her comments about our work. She was super sweet. And so she was doing everything that I, the owner of the business. Was asking her to do. I as the business owner, hadn’t figured out how to do billing correctly. I maybe I just was not good at my work fast enough at my work. And I had just cut some trim panels.

[00:07:28] That were supposed to go on the sides of her vanities. And I was making a cutout for the plug. And I cut. The wrong. Side of the panel. So essentially. Both of them should have been cut opposite ways. I couldn’t switch them around because of the way it was, was mirror image. And so what I had to do now was.

[00:07:52] Manufacturer to new ant and panels, paint them to match. Cause it was, uh, uh, Not a custom cabinet. I had [00:08:00] to figure out how to match the paint. Had to create one from scratch. ’cause I messed up in that equal. Uh, I think it was about two days or so of additional work. Because I didn’t. Realize which panel I was cutting at market properly.

[00:08:18] It sucked. And I was listening to this, essentially going back to that job. And thinking. My heart is wrong. I did make mistake. The nature of this is. It’s going to be hard. And I need to get better at my work. I need to get better at business understanding how long things are going to take. But because.

[00:08:43] I’m not there yet because I made this mistake. I don’t get too. Pout about it. Right now. I don’t get to pitch a fit. I don’t get to wine because the reality is that I’m alive. I am healthy. I have a family that [00:09:00] loves me. I don’t have a lot of money in my bank account, but ultimately that shouldn’t be the thing that determines my level of happiness because.

[00:09:10] Now that I have money in my bank account. More consistently and in larger amounts. It doesn’t. Mean there’s less to worry about. It doesn’t mean work is easier. It doesn’t mean problems aren’t coming up daily. It doesn’t mean clients. Aren’t sending me strings of emails, not clients that I ended up hiring the clients that are trying to get us to do work for them. Thinking that they send me some angry emails, that it makes me really happy to work for them.

[00:09:38] And that the price is going to be. A good price and that I’m going to do my work faster because they’re probably eating me. Beside the point back to work. I can look at these emails. I can look at the things that are going on and I can work to maintain a prayerful art patch posture. And what they talk [00:10:00] about in, uh, father Martin of the, um, in the Benedictine, Mar says that any time we take something natural something material and we make something out of it.

[00:10:11] For the sake of giving glory to God. It becomes a sacramental and it becomes a channel of grace. So even when, and it can be harder, I think for those of you that are in the white collar industry and those of you that. Are not necessarily taking material things this particular guy was said he was in accounting.

[00:10:31] So it can be harder when you’re looking at. The numbers and the spreadsheets, and it’s all files in the computer, as they say. And it doesn’t it’s, you’re not able to feel it, smell it and all these things. But, we have to remember that, uh, Colossians 3 23 and 24 about. Doing everything.

[00:10:51] Uh, and whatever we find to do for the Lord. And wanting our inheritance to come from him. So that [00:11:00] understanding that work is. For God’s glory and that it’s not something we do in exchange for money, but ultimately we do for his glory. Has helped me a lot.

[00:11:10] So the next thing about that, I know it’s, it’s not entirely helpful to just say, suck it up, buttercup and get to work. But the other side of this is if. It doesn’t mean you’re supposed to stay where you are. You could have gotten bad advice from people in your life and felt like that. The key was I got to get this degree.

[00:11:31] I get the stickery then I get this good job and I get this good job then I can. Have all the things in life that are necessary for my happiness. And now that you have that degree and you have that job, you’re not happy. Well, you know, like we talked about up to this point, it could be just a heart problem. That could be you.

[00:11:48] Improperly viewing work. And it’s place in your life, but it also could mean you’re in the wrong job. It could mean that you need to change could mean that you need to move. It could mean that it’s time to take risk. And as we’ve [00:12:00] talked about in other episodes before. The way that you do that.

[00:12:04] Is by doing. Uh, time audit by understanding what your time that you spend to things that are not fruitful. Um, and how do you reallocate that to learning a new skill, to gaining knowledge, to changing your beliefs about the world in a way that enables you. To do something different. Work-wise. And, , I could say that in construction, for the longest time, like, oh, I’m going to, I’m going to get out and, and start doing this podcast and stuff. I’m going to start doing these speaking gigs. I’m going to start, that’s going to be my primary thing. And I’m not going to have to have worry about clients.

[00:12:38] I’m not going to have to worry about this. It’s a pipe dream in and reorder it, ordering the podcast aspect of things and the way that it fits into my primary business, which is construction and real estate. And relaying the lessons that I’m learning in real life. As I try to shape the material world for his glory as I, I also do it in exchange for money and [00:13:00] pay for my family. And all these things is, is the necessary and proper view of what I do

[00:13:06] but I am also enjoying it more. Not because the work is easier, not because solely because I’m making more money, although that has helped when you feel like you’re getting paid. Uh, in accordance to the level of effort that you’re doing and for clients and learning that process. And we’re going to talk more about that as we continue to go. But the other side of it is if you are stuck and you feel like it is soul draining,

[00:13:29] First work on the heart posture, say, this is the job that I have. This is where I am now. This is what pays me. This is who I’m working for. And can I view that process as me? Channeling my energy for God’s glory. Not for money, not for recognition. But to ultimately receive that inheritance from the heavenly father after you work on that, which I would suggest you work on that immediately, because no matter where you end up in work, you’re not going to be happy. If that heart problem [00:14:00] exists.

[00:14:00] Secondly say, or you work 40 hours a week. You have family, you have, uh, obligations in the community find all the time. That you have, that you’re spending on things that aren’t helping you get, where you want to go. Specifically vocationally in this episode, we’re talking about that in figure out how to learn, listening to the podcasts that I have on entrepreneurship on, um, ways to start a business. I’ll link those in the show notes. Those can be things. I got a blog post about how to get entrepreneurial, and there’s a list of my favorite books in there.

[00:14:34] So I’ll post that here and start to learn how to change your mind or change your mindset about work, change your mindset, understanding passive income versus active income. And how do you. I try to move from somebody who’s running a small business or somebody in the daily thing to getting more leverage with more labor or more software and more automation and, and, uh,

[00:14:57] And media, which is what we’re working on now in our [00:15:00] companies. These things that you have to learn and the sooner you learn them, The more, they start to get benefit. Just like if you invest money earlier, you get a higher return because that money continues to labor. The richest man in Babylon the book, I like so much talking about gold, continuing.

[00:15:18] To labor round the clock and bearing children. Money properly invested bears children, barrels, fruit continues to compound. The exact same thing happens when you gain knowledge and you gain skill because you have it. Now you can start employing it towards a specific end state, and then it brings a yield and it continues, and it continues to reap a harvest for you as God sees fit.

[00:15:43] And I think ultimately doing that, understanding those principles of how to invest time and money in gaining skill. Combined with the proper heart posture allows you to have a more balanced, more enjoyable relationship with the [00:16:00] work that you find yourself in. So I hope you found this helpful. I hope that it gives you some things to think about helps you.

[00:16:07] Figure out how to have a better view of work now, and the job that you’re in and then gives you a couple. Tips and tricks to start allocating your time. If the Lord is calling you to move to change professions. And to do something different. Change your heart so that you don’t get to that new job, that profession and realize that it’s the same as the old job, because that rotten heart posture that you had at the old one is still there. So twofold fixes.

[00:16:39] Twofold solution to the problem and maybe. Realizing that the one that you have, the job that you have for the time, the investment, the return that you get is worth staying at and just fixing your, heart posture. You have someone else that is in your circles. Do you know, that is struggling with this, that is having a bad attitude about their [00:17:00] work. That is, is having a hard time with it. Share this episode. Hopefully my struggle with it, my continued desire to improve my relationship and my mindset with regard to work is helpful. Inspirational to you and enables you to do the things that God has put in front of you today for his glory.

[00:17:19] As always have a good one.