By most accounts, it continues to be a difficult year for our economy. Many of us know someone who’s been affected by it in one way or another. And media outlets, employment centers, and government bureaus all seem to be forecasting further downturns.
During this latest economic slump, I’ve tried to take on a higher view of employment and what the workplace has to offer. It’s a spiritually-centered view — and it came to mind while reading this week’s magazine edition of The Christian Science Monitor.
The Monitor has an article titled, “Spirituality goes to work,” by G. Jeffrey MacDonald. It identifies a tendency these days among private sector employers to be more faith-friendly, — a tendency, according to the article, that's reshaping the workplace.
The article cites a survey of religion released last month by Baylor University, which indicates, among other things, that spirituality shapes people's work habits and attitudes. Entrepreneurs, it says, are about 30% more likely than non-entrepreneurs to pray several times per day or to meditate. And about one in four of those surveyed feels his or her work is part of God’s mission.
The article goes on to include these comments:
“ . . . Now companies are, in some cases, letting workers approach their jobs as a type of faith in action . . .
Other firms are connecting workers with yoga instructors, meditation experts, and therapists who practice Christian values . . .
Research shows that ‘companies that create a respectful place for people to bring their spirituality to work will have employees with greater loyalty, greater creativity, lower absenteeism, and higher morale’ . . .”
In thinking about it, some of the most productive people I’ve met over the years — whether business executives, public servants, university scholars, or homemakers — are ones who bring a very real sense of spirituality to their work. And they all have this in common: They acknowledge that their employment is most fulfilling when they accept God as their true employer — and their only one!
These are difficult economic times, for sure. But this article tells me there's something more we can be doing — that we might just begin to lift ourselves out of these tough times if we start bringing a little more spirituality to our lives, and to the workplace!
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)