The fruit of toil

In an Acton Commentary two years ago, I wrote about the significance of toil: In the midst of the now-common Christian affirmation of all forms of work as God-given vocations, the image of Sisyphus, vainly pushing his boulder up a hill in Hades, only to watch it roll back down again, might serve to remind us of the reality of toil, the other side of the coin. Continue Reading...

Bring Back the Teen Summer Job

I recently gave a hearty cheer for bringing back childhood chores, which are shockingly absent in a majority of today’s homes. The same appears to be the case with summer work for teenagers, which is increasingly avoided due to sports activities, cushy internships, video games, clubs and camps, and, in many cases, a lack of employment prospects altogether. Continue Reading...

Workers and Laborers or Kings and Priests?

When faced with work that feels more like drudgery and toil than collaborative creative service, we are often encouraged to inject our situation with meaning, rather than recognize the inherent value and purpose in the work itself. Continue Reading...

Learning To Mourn Amid Work That Wounds

I recently wrote about “wounding work,” a term Lester DeKoster assigns to work that, while meaningful and fruitful, is “cross bearing, self-denying, and life-sacrificing” in deep and profound ways. Take the recent reflections of a former Methodist minister, who, upon shifting from ministry into blue-collar work at a factory, struggled to find meaning and purpose. Continue Reading...

Rough Work Must Be Done

Joseph Sunde’s fine post today on vocation examines the dynamic between work and toil, the former corresponding to God’s creational ordinance and the latter referring to the corruption of that ordinance in light of the Fall into sin. Continue Reading...