Monday, September 3, 2007
On Love & Work
We spend most of our time pursuing our vocation and yet most of our art focuses on love. This is the core revelation I have had today. I have watched a few movies this weekend with my wife, Danelle, and it occurred to me as we watch Becoming Jane how much of our art is about love. It weaves its way into visual arts, plays a significant role on the stage and screen, its melodic vitues and tales of its trial and tribulation fill our IPODS and airways. Even the great stories illustrated by ballet and dance are centered upon the pursuit, acquisition and continuance of love. Yet in our daily lives, how much time do we spend maintaining or nurturing love.
Most of our time is filled by the pursuit of vocation and the acquisition of resources by which we “make a living.” But is making a living the same as making a life. We spend more than two thousand hours a year working. Whether it is sitting behind a desk, shuffling paper or doing back breaking labor, far more of our time is spent working than loving.
Not only does work sap us of time, it drains us of joy. How many meetings have your truly left with a profound sense of joy about what has just occurred? How many days to you rise out of bed and count the moments until you can be at work? Our identity is wrapped up in our position and success at work and yet work is a fickle mistress. One day you feel as though you are on the top of your game, making sacrifice after sacrifice for its pleasure only to discover that she is equally pursuing others. Actually, she prefers others regardless of your sacrifice. You, who have wrapped your identity in your vocation, are then left alone, sitting at your desk wondering why you made these sacrifices to begin with. On the sidelines you see love, sacrificed upon the altar of vocation.
Can you imagine what a relationship would be if it received two thousand hours annually of nurture and care? How much more joy would be in our lives should we devote more time to love than to vocation? To relationships that will survive the fickle hand of vocational downsizing and re-alignment. After suffering from yet another vocational disappointment I am beginning to think that my life would be better invested in love and in work.