Some people define their craft. In baseball, it's the Babe. As for inventors, it's Edison. With respect to Poetry and Playwrights, it's Shakespeare. For communicators, it is Demosthenes, the silver-tongued orator of ancient Greece. And when it comes to architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright is among the best of the best. The words "genius," "brilliant," and "inspiring" are the tags people hang on his work. Wright's architectural style is impressive, but his attitude is astounding. At the age of eighty-three, he was asked which of his works he would select as his masterpiece. He replied: "My next one."
Frank Lloyd Wright had the kind of attitude that catapults people to the top, but it is the Apostle Paul who shows me how to develop it. Writing to disadvantaged workers in the first century the Apostle Paul said:
Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Colossians 3:23 NLT)
Paul addressed men and women caught in the grip of slavery. Talk about tough times:
The slave was a thing in the eyes of the law. There was no such thing as a code of working conditions. When the slave was past his work, he could be thrown out to die. He had not even the right to marry, and if he cohabited and there was a child, the child belonged to the master, just as the lambs of the flock belonged to the shepherd. Once again all the rights belonged to the master and all the duties to the slave. (William Barclay)1
Where's the motivation in that? Why push extra hard when society sees you as property. How do you fire up the "want to" when the best you can hope for is to be tossed out like yesterday's garbage?
Paul tells us that the secret to an A+ Attitude is working for the right Boss. He reminded slaves that their real "master" was their Maker.
When I approach my work to glorify God, everything changes. Because I am serving Christ, not "the customer," good is no longer good enough. God deserves my best. Every client, every sale, every class, every homework assignment, every "routine" effort, EVERY job becomes "my next one," my next masterpiece for God.
What is on your agenda today? What is your attitude toward it? Why not take a look at your "To Do" list and then pray this prayer: "Lord Jesus, help me to make my next________ my masterpiece for you!"
1 The letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians. 2000 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.) (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The Daily study Bible series, Rev. ed. (161–162). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.