是否為會員

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生命與工作的秘密

THE SECRET TO LIFE – AND WORK

(2023/04/10)



每當我想到工作時,我就會想起英國雕塑家亨利·摩爾(Henry Moore)的一句名言:「生命的秘密是什麼?就是要有一個任務,一個你可以一生都全心全意投入的任務,一個你每天每分每秒都為之奉獻的任務,還有,最重要的是,它必須是一個你幾乎不可能做到的事情。」

現今的工作被聯想到各種邪惡:奴役、血汗工廠、罷工、劣質工作、虐待童工、高昂的成本、低廉的工資和高額的利潤。上帝給予了工作這份禮物 - 而人類卻毀了它。
• 我們中的一些人,曾經歷過沒有成就感、毫無意義的工作。
• 我們中的一些人,把工作做得很好,卻沒有得到認可或賞識。
• 我們中的一些人,勞累到筋疲力竭。
• 我們中的一些人,眼睜睜看著無情的貧困,吞噬了我們微薄的資產。
• 我們中的一些人,在工作中受到騷擾。
 • 我們中的一些人,忍受著工作的苦悶或失業的痛苦。

對多數成功的商場人士來說,他們的夢想就是擁有名牌的服飾、汽車、房子、旅遊和豐厚的金融投資組合。在五個工作日結束時,我們會很想大喊:「TGIF(Thank God It’s Friday!)-感謝上帝終於星期五了!」對某些人來說,這五天的工作,只是為了累積錢財,以供應我們去一個有異國風情的地方渡假,或享受自己喜愛的休閒活動而已。

但其實工作並不只是一個徒勞或無意義的追求。以畫家文森·梵谷(Vincent van Gogh)(1853-1890)為例,雖然他作為一名藝術家的職業生涯不到十年,但他在37歲去世之前創作了近900幅水彩畫和1000幅素描。在他生命的最後階段,他住在巴黎,就創作了228幅畫作。其中一幅,《嘉舍醫生的畫像》,在他去世100年後的紐約市拍賣會上,以8250萬美元的價格售出,競標只持續了不到三分鐘!

梵谷的許多作品,都以勞工為題材-包括農民、漁民、織工、家庭主婦、工廠員工和修補網的婦女。在1885年,他寫信給他的弟弟西奧,闡述了他對工作的哲學: 「人若想要真正地活著,必須工作和勇於嘗試。」

聖經也持有相同的觀點。《創世記》的開端便宣示了,工作是上帝的旨意:「神就照著自己的形像造人,乃是照著他的形像造男造女。神就賜福給他們,又對他們說:「要生養眾多,遍滿地面,治理這地,也要管理海裡的魚、空中的鳥和地上各樣行動的活物。」(創世記1章27-28節)

第二章中說:「耶和華神將那人安置在伊甸園,使他修理看守。」(創世記2章15節)本質上,上帝是委派人類,作為他創造的管家和照顧者。

新約聖經也從一個非常積極的角度看待工作,其中一個譯本這樣表達:「無論做什麼,你們都要專心一意,像是為主工作,不是為人工作。要知道主會把他為自己子民所保存的賞賜給你們。你們事奉的是主基督。」(歌羅西書 3章23-24節現代中文譯本)工作本就應該被視為一種榮幸,而不是一種詛咒。

版權2023年,原文刊載於《星期一早上的三件事》,本文改編自已故的羅伯特·D·福斯特(Robert D. Foster)在2016年逝世時的訊息,享年96歲。在他的一生中,鮑勃曾任職於導航會(The Navigators),創立並經營了科羅拉多泉(Colorado Springs)的失落山谷牧場(Lost Valley Ranch),是CBMC的理監事會成員,並在90多歲時繼續作為基督的大使,到世界各地旅行。

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請考慮下面的經文:
箴言12章11節
12:11耕種自己田地的,必得飽食;追隨虛浮的,卻是無知。
箴言14章23節
14:23 諸般勤勞都有益處;嘴上多言乃致窮乏。
箴言22章29節
22:29 你看見辦事殷勤的人嗎?他必站在君王面前,必不站在下賤人面前。
傳道書12章13-14節
12:13  這些事都已聽見了,總意就是:敬畏神,謹守他的誡命,這是人所當盡的本分(或作:這是眾人的本分)。
12:14  因為人所做的事,連一切隱藏的事,無論是善是惡,神都必審問。
以弗所書 6章5-9節
6:5你們做僕人的,要懼怕戰兢,用誠實的心聽從你們肉身的主人,好像聽從基督一般。
6:6 不要只在眼前事奉,像是討人喜歡的,要像基督的僕人,從心裡遵行神的旨意。
6:7甘心事奉,好像服事主,不像服事人。
6:8因為曉得各人所行的善事,不論是為奴的,是自主的,都必按所行的得主的賞賜。
6:9你們做主人的,待僕人也是一理,不要威嚇他們。因為知道,他們和你們同有一位主在天上;他並不偏待人。
歌羅西書 3章17、22節
3:17無論做什麼,或說話或行事,都要奉主耶穌的名,藉著他感謝父神。
3:22你們做僕人的,要凡事聽從你們肉身的主人,不要只在眼前事奉,像是討人喜歡的,總要存心誠實敬畏主。

反省與問題討論
第一、你認為雕塑家亨利·摩爾(Henry Moore)說的生命的秘密,是一個你可以一生全心全意投入的任務,而且「是一個你幾乎不可能做到的事情」是什麼意思呢?他是否在說,我們應該努力追求超出我們能力範圍的事情嗎?如果是這樣,那對我們有什麼好處呢?
第二、你是否能夠認同,一些工作可能代表的「某種邪惡」呢?如果有的話,是哪些呢?為什麼?
第三、你對著名藝術家文森·梵谷的說法:「人若想要真正地活著,必須工作和勇於嘗試。」有什麼看法?考慮到梵谷在37歲時去世,你認為他實現了自己的目標嗎?請解釋你的答案。
第四、如果我們把我們工作的責任看作是“為主工作”,而不僅僅是為我們的老闆或“主人”工作,這對我們會有什麼不同的影響呢?

 

 

 

MONDAY MANNA
April 10, 2023

THE SECRET TO LIFE – AND WORK
By Robert D. Foster

 

                              

Whenever I think about work, I am reminded of a quote from British sculptor Henry Moore: “What is the secret to life? It is to have a task, something you can devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.”

Work becomes associated with all kinds of evil: slavery, sweatshops, strikes, shoddy work, child abuse, inflated costs, low wages, and high profits. God gave the gift of work – and man has ruined it.

 -Some of us have experienced the pain of unfulfilling, mindless work.
 -Some of us have done good work which was not recognized or appreciated.
 -Some of us labor to the point of exhaustion.
 -Some of us watch as unrelenting poverty swallowed up our meager assets.
 -Some of us have experienced harassment on the job.
 -Some of us suffer the drudgery of work or the pain of unemployment.

For many, the successful businessperson’s dream is nice clothes, cars, houses, travel, and an extensive financial portfolio. At the end of five workdays, we are tempted to yell, “TGIF – Thank God It’s Friday!” For some, those five working days were just a way to accumulate money for an exotic vacation or our favorite leisure activities.

But work does not need to be a futile or meaningless pursuit. Take painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) as an example. Although he spent less than 10 years in his vocation as an artist, he produced nearly 900 watercolor paintings and 1,000 sketches before he died at age 37. Toward the end of his life, while living in Paris, van Gogh produced 228 paintings. One of them, “The Portrait of Doctor Gachet,” sold for $82.5 million at a New York City auction 100 years after his death. The bidding lasted less than three minutes!

Many of van Gogh’s subjects were workers – farmers, fishermen, weavers, housewives, factory employees and women mending nets. In 1885, he wrote to his brother, Theo, explaining his philosophy of work: “One must work and dare if one really wants to live.”

The Scriptures share the same perspective. The opening chapter of the Bible declares work was God’s idea: “So God created man in his own image…male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground’” (Genesis 1:27-28).

In the second chapter it says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). In essence, God was delegating humankind to serve as stewards and caretakers of His creation.

The Bible’s New Testament also presents work from a very positive view. One translation expresses it this way: “Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord and not merely for your masters, remembering that it is the Lord Christ who is going to pay you, giving you full portion of all He owns” (Colossians 3:23-24). Work should be regarded as a privilege, not a curse.

Copyright 2023, Originally published in “Take Three On Monday Morning,” this was adapted from a message by Robert D. Foster, who died in 2016 at the age of 96. During his lifetime, Bob served on the staff of The Navigators, founded, and operated Lost Valley Ranch in Colorado Springs, Colo., was a member of the CBMC National Board, and continued traveling as an ambassador for Christ to different parts of the world well into his 90’s.

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Reflection/Discussion Questions

 
1.What do you think sculptor Henry Moore meant when he said the secret to life is a task you can devote your entire life to and “something you cannot possibly do”? Is he saying we should strive for things we consider beyond our grasp – and if so, what benefit is that for us?


2.Can you identify with some of the “kinds of evil” that what work can represent? If so, which ones – and why?


 
3.How do you respond to the statement by renowned artist Vincent van Gogh, “One must work and dare if one really wants to live”? Considering van Gogh died at the age of 37, do you think he accomplished his goal? Explain your answer.



4.In what ways should it make a difference if we regard our job responsibilities “as working for the Lord” and not just for our bosses or “masters”?





NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

Proverbs 12:11, 14:23, 22:29; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:17,22