Work Contributions

Saw a video lately showing a guy pretending like he was stopping the metro trains when they arrive at the platform and acting like he was pushing them off when they were departing. The caption by the one who shared the video was that this is like what consultants do when they claim they are helping their clients. Being a consultant myself, I’m amused by the kind of reputation that consulting seem to have.

A fellow consultant friend expressed that the video made her question not just her work but how much contribution we actually have as we live our lives. And I pointed her to Leaf by Niggle, a short story by J R R Tolkien – which I first learnt from ‘Every Good Endeavour’, a book about work and faith by Timothy Keller. The short story by Tolkien reminds us that despite our best intentions, things in life may not always turn out the way we want it to but that what counts is the heart and spirit behind our work and the way we live our lives.

I’m always touched by how the story hints at the fact that our slogging in this world is often a function of the glimpse we have of God’s intention for the world that has fallen short because of sin. And yet, it is eventually not our slogging but God’s salvation and renewal of the world that brings into reality what He has given us a glimpse of.

We desperately want all that we do to count for something in this world but maybe there is sweeter liberation from the fact the world doesn’t have to count on an imperfect human such as me.