Wholehearted DevotionDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.
1 Chronicles 28:
Bent low over his plate in the restaurant, Arthur used the side of his knife to load his fork with rice. Then, with a shrug of his shoulders and a smile on his face, he said, “You have no choice.”
I sat across from him and let those words sink in. I needed that. I did. It didn’t matter that I am more than twice Arthur’s age or that we had met one another just an hour before. What Arthur was saying was true.
Arthur visited our church for the first time Sunday morning, and my husband invited him to join us for lunch after the service. So, we drove to one of those all-you-can-eat buffets because what college student doesn’t appreciate a smorgasbord of food?
Near the end of our meal, I asked Arthur what he planned to do with the rest of the afternoon. He told me he had plans to go back to his room and work on a paper he had due that week. I thought about the work I needed to do that afternoon, too, and the deadline that loomed closer with each passing day. Then, I thought about the sunshine and the warm temperatures and the fact that we wouldn’t see many more days like these so late into September. I sighed and said, “But it’s such a nice day. How are you going to make yourself work on that paper?”
Distractions come in many forms, and no matter how holy our work may seem on some days, there are other days we’d rather not be bothered. There are days the work pales in comparison to the latest trend in social media or the plot twists in the newest novel or a bike ride on the trails beneath a harvest moon.
When David committed to his son Solomon the building of a temple for the Lord, David commended Solomon to acknowledge God and to serve him with “wholehearted devotion and a willing mind.” In this passage, the words "wholehearted devotion" might also be understood to mean "focus." And David, in his wisdom, partners focus with willingness.
David was passionate about having a beautiful temple built for the Lord. David was also well acquainted with the power of distraction and its ability to keep us from diligently pursuing the vocation God has entrusted to us.
God is invested in the work of our hands, and he invites us to join him in the tilling and the weeding and dotting our “Is” and crossing our “Ts” because keeping focus on the details is just as important as achieving the goal. And so, when I asked Arthur how he planned to keep himself on task that Sunday afternoon, he shrugged, then smiled and told me, “You have no choice.”
Arthur’s vocation in this season of life includes long days and nights of study and preparation for the next day’s class. He is focused on the task at hand and willing to hole up in a dorm room on a sunny day to get it done. And Arthur told me that Sunday afternoon, “the sooner you get it done, the better because then it’s not sitting there right over your head.”
So, that afternoon, I took up Arthur’s mantra and marched myself into a local coffee shop to take care of the work I needed to do. When my husband called from a community block party to check on me, he asked if I needed to take a break. “No,” I replied without hesitation, “I’m going to hang out here a little bit longer, you know. Sometimes, you have no choice.”
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: David told his son, Solomon, “the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.” What is the work God has chosen for you? What keeps you focused on the work? What distracts you from the work? You may not be sure what work it is that God has chosen for you, and that’s okay. If that’s the case for you, what types of work bring you joy as you seek the work God designed for you?
PRAYER: Lord, you have given us all good things to enjoy, and we are sometimes overwhelmed by our choices. Help us to keep the right perspective. Teach us to work for you with wholehearted devotion and a willing mind. Wherever we labor and whatever our hands find to do, let us do it with joy and with focus and with a spirit that seeks to honor you. Thank you for wiring us the way you have and for inviting us to participate in this world with you through our work. Amen.
Deidra Riggs is the Managing Editor for The High Calling. She believes in the power of your story. She earned her Bachelor's in Communication Arts and Science from Michigan State University. She has two adult children and lives in Nebraska with her husband. Send a note to Deidra.
The constant noise of the digital age requires us to work that much harder to remain focused on our individual passions and the good work to which God has called us. God wants us to feel passionate about our work because what we do reflects the person we are called to serve—Jesus. Our series, Vocation Focus, will inspire you with stories, Bible reflections, and practical tips. Click now to read more about Vocation Focus.
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