Halfway through your week and sometimes you wonder what you have actually managed to achieve.
It gets to Wednesday sometimes and you think of all the work you need to finish by the end of the week and wince.
And by Friday you hope to have completed your ‘to-do’ list, now able to sit back and smile at a week well worked.
But I’ve worked in places where a report you’ve spent weeks writing ends up sitting on someone else’s desk unread.
And other places where the task you’ve completed seems only to have used your hours rather than have been for any use.
Previously I shared with you a small part of the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. It includes a part that says that God wants us to be happy and enjoying life, and that we should eat, drink and take pleasure from the work that we do…but there are some weeks when this needs a closer look.
I also want us to think this morning about the fruits of our labours and also the Fruits of the Spirit in case you were worried that you need to do more.
Paul’s letter to the Galatian Church starts with encouragements and then includes some warnings. Starting off well, it looks like the church is losing its way, forgetting what it should be and getting distracted by what the world around it thinks it should be. Paul reminds them (5:22-26) to be led by God and His Spirit and then our lives will show the fruits of how we live.
Those fruits are: ‘Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.’
But often it might be tricky to see these things growing in ourselves. And if we haven’t asked those around us recently, ‘what few words do you think describe me best?’, we may struggle to see how we are growing in our faith and love of God. But as we watch a boat pass down the Thames and see the wave behind it, let us ask ourselves what fruits we leave behind us as we work.
Do people love the work they do with you? Does the place include smiles and laughter at times? Is there a Joy with a week well worked?
Are people accepting of each other and encourage those around them? Do you smile when acts of kindness happen?
If there are conversations to be had, is there gentleness and sensitivity and generosity in their words? Are people faithful and loyal?
Our work might be exhausting, it may be high pressured and full each day – but if we grow a right Spirit within ourselves and within our work then I believe that we will see the fruits of our labours in the fruits of God’s Spirit around us.
I wonder what three words would describe me, and which would I want to hear?
Is the way I live and work and play proof of what I grow in my heart and what I put in my head and what I do with my hands?
What Spirit am I living by and am I letting it guide me in the right way?
My prayer for you today is that regardless of what you do or how much you achieve – that you are reminded that God loves you and believes you are priceless to Him.
The Blessing I leave with you is that God’s Spirit wants to encourage you this day: to live life to the full, to be content and joyful in all that you do and to share the fruits of your loves and labours with those around you and with the God who gives us every good thing. Amen.
Don’t forget to play today.
And then don’t forget to pray today. Join me at 1pm if you can.