Ah, Labour Day. A holiday from the curse of work!
“Cursed is the ground because of you… It will produce thorns and thistles for you… By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food…” (Genesis 3:17-19)
Is Work really a curse? People who are lucky enough to be able to do their Dream Job, would not say so. But even they will heave a sigh of relief at end of day.
If you think about it, Work is everywhere, included in everything. I may say I’m only playing Lexulous, but it is hard work to think up a good word! In fact, more than once my son has asked me what’s wrong, when a sigh of frustration escaped my lips, but I was only trying to think of a word. Even things we enjoy or are good at, require hard work.
For example, I love having visitors; but there is hard work involved in preparing for them, and making sure everything is just right. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t enjoy it as much, if it was just easy-peasy. There’s a certain pride involved.
And when you work hard to make your family happy (or anyone else), their joy increases your own joy, and makes it all worthwhile. That’s a mirror of God’s desire towards us, by the way. He takes delight in planning out the best for us.
One of the great benefits of Work of course, is the reward–eating the delicious dinner you prepared, having a holiday away, a restful weekend, or just a good sleep at the end of the day; earning enough money to buy something long-sought after, or a precious gift to give to someone, and on and on.
So yeah, I don’t think Adam’s curse was Work itself. Notice the “thorns and thistles” part. Weeding is something that gives me satisfaction, to pull out the roots and clean the uglies away; but I hit a thistle the other day when I was weeding, and the pain of it lasted for a little while. So I think the “curse” part was the pain. Look at the Message version of those verses from Genesis:
“…getting food from the ground will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; [love that, lol!] you’ll be working in pain all your life long…” (Genesis 3:17-19)
Ah, but then–that beautiful garden! The food from it! And, that baby… :)