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Workday Prayers: Remembering What Lasts Forever

September 8, 2022 • Life for Leaders

Scripture – Psalm 102:11-12 (NRSV)

My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever;
your name endures to all generations.

Focus

What you do in your work matters. But you won’t last forever. Only God endures to all generations. Thus, you are encouraged to do your work for God’s purposes and glory. Invest your labor in what will never pass away.

Prelude

When I was a boy, I often shopped at Woolworths. When I left for college, I flew across the country on TWA. My first computer was a Compaq. When my kids were growing up, we bought their Christmas presents at Toys R Us, rented dozens of movies from Blockbuster, and bought CDs at Tower Records. During that time, I was pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church.

Today, Woolworths is no more. TWA doesn’t exist either. Compaq is gone, as are Toys R Us and Blockbuster. I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD, and Tower Records bit the dust. The church I once pastored dwindled in size and merged with another church. The remnant of my congregation is now part of a church called Shepherd’s Grove.

When I think of all the institutions that have disappeared during my lifetime, I’m reminded that the things of this world are not permanent. That includes the work I do. Yes, I believe my work matters. It matters to me. It matters to those I serve. And it matters to God. But the time will come when my work will “wither away like grass.”

That could be reason for despair. But the transience of this world is not the whole story. As the psalm writer says, “But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations” (Psalm 102:12). God continues on. God lasts forever. If I do my work for God’s purposes and glory, then it has eternal value . . . even if the earthly fruit of my work doesn’t last. God’s delight in me and my work will last forever.

Prayer

Gracious God, sometimes I get so wrapped up in my work as if it is the thing that matters most in life. I want to do good work. I want my work to make a difference in the world. Indeed, my work does matter. But it won’t last forever. Indeed, I won’t last forever. The time will come when I will wither away like grass. My mortality will catch up with me. I will return to the dust from which I have come.

But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever. Your name endures to all generations. You will not pass away. You will never disappear. You will be sovereign over all things forever and ever.

Help me, I pray, to work for what will last. Help me to work for you, to do what I do for your delight. May my work be not only an opportunity for fruitfulness but also a chance to grow in relationship with you.

All praise be to you, O Lord. Amen.

Ponder Throughout the Day

Though your work matters, only God lasts forever.

For Further Reflection

Read all of Psalm 102.

You may also wish to read Ecclesiastes 1:1-11.

Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling, hosted at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Commentary on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: God, Answer Me Quickly!


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