Thorns & Thistles: (2 of 3)

So, this morning Annie helped me with folding the laundry—well, sort of.  She took a hand towel, folded it a couple of times, then in a last grand gesture, bundled it up and set it, like a lopsided ball, on top of the stack of towels.

I asked, “What is that?” certain that a 12 year-old should be able to fold a towel better than that.

She said, “What do you mean?  Oh, that.  I am not as particular as you are, Dad.”

(There’s merit to her point, but a subject for another blog.)

Nevertheless, chiding her I imitated the way she had folded the towel, sticking it on top of the pile with my grand gesture– “Tada!”  We laughed.

It raised another discussion about work.  And so I asked her if she remembered the three “big ideas” about work.

“Let’s see,” Annie said, “Quality…Attitude…I can’t remember the third one.”

“That’s better than your brothers ever did,” I replied. “The third one is Initiative–the idea of not having to be told to go do something, but to see what needs to be done and do it…or think up an idea then work to make it become real..that’s initiative, too.”

So, that’s our grid in our home…the three principles that help us approach work from God’s design. And I think it describes the approach we have taken with The 2:10 Project.

Let me explain what I mean.

Quality:  The quality of the work we do matters.  When God created the heavens and the earth, three words described the quality of His handiwork: “It is good.”  When we think about the work we put our hand to, the quality of what we do matters, and our goal should be the same as our Father’s—“it is good.”

For The 2:10 Project, we were blown away by the quality of work of our publisher, Tim Young of Alliance Publishing in Birmingham, Alabama, his designer Vic Wheeler, our general editor Brad Lewis, our copy editor Barry Wise Smith, our photographer, Liz Young, and a host of others who lent their strength & encouragement. Deb and her web-building team worked tirelessly–and brilliantly–to produce very sophisticated online assessment tools. And probably the lion’s share of the load was borne by Rodney Cox whose expertise in assessments and website building was a critical piece to the vision that Frank and Don and I had. They did their work not for man, but “as unto the Lord.”  I think you will agree with us when you see the fully developed website next week.

Attitude:  God is the Ultimate Worker.  Behind all of creation is the character of a generous, open-handed God who “rains upon the righteous and the unrighteous,” causing His creation to flourish. God has designed a world that functions wonderfully and abundantly…creation itself betrays the attitude of a Father who desires to give His children every good and perfect gift.

At the heart of attitude is gratitude or ingratitude. The backdrop to the judgment of another man’s work is ingratitude.  Beneath the grumbling about the co-worker who got the promotion ahead of us is another form of ingratitude, entitlement.  And in the shadow cast by complaining about a job’s crazy difficulties is a kind of blindness to the abundance of God in our lives.

I am grateful that the 2:10 Project team I am a part of is comprised of men and women who are truly grateful to God for His goodness in our lives.

I like the way G.K. Chesterton says it: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

I think what Chesterton is saying is that perhaps it is through the door of work in which we find happiness.  That our attitude of thankfulness affirms our faith that God is good, and that even if the ground is cursed, we are not.  And therefore, our hearts are full.

In the third of 3 posts on “Thorns & Thistles,” I am going to take a stab at “Initiative”…it ties right in to our 2:10 Challenge that we have for all of you (ourselves included!).

Stay tuned…

Marc Fey and The 2:10 Team

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What is the 210 Project

A Life-Changing Process—The 2:10 Project is both a book and an interactive process. The online assessments and activities include the Strengths Profile, the Spiritual DNA Inventory, a Passions Survey and Interactive Timelines.

The results of the profiles and key questions make up the interactive S.O.L.O. Workbook—a notebook that you can pray and journal through, take with you on your days of solitude, and refer to over and over in the months and years ahead as you discover your place in God’s story.

The 2:10 Project is highly practical. The online exercises conclude with “My 2:10 M.A.P.” which is a roadmap leading to you to action —the action that is all about your place in God’s transcendent story.

All you will need is the book and the access code provided to you when you purchased the book.

Visit The 2:10 Project website soon and often to receive encouragement and support as you walk out your calling in the weeks and months ahead.