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Living Whole Heartedly

March 17, 2016

When we think about a business, whether a shop, a hospital, or a service we hire someone to do, what stands out in our minds is the rare individual who brings his or her whole heart and soul to work. They are known for their excellence - giving 100% to what they do. They have a positive attitude of contagious enthusiasm. They genuinely care about the people they serve and the quality of work they offer. They're trustworthy - you can count on them to do what they say they will do, and then some.  They go the extra mile. Here in Paradise, where hospitality is our leading industry, whole hearted excellence is in great demand.

A story is told that during the bombing of a city in World War II, a large statue of Jesus was severely damaged. When the townspeople found the statue among the rubble, they mourned because it had been a beloved symbol of their faith and of God's presence in their lives. Experts were able to repair most of the statue, but its hands had been damaged so severely that they could not be restored. Some suggested that they hire a sculptor to make new hands, but others wanted to leave it as it was - a permanent reminder of the tragedy of war. Ultimately, the statue remained without hands. However, the people of the city added on the base of the statue a sign with these words: "You are my hands".

How can we be God's hands as we work each day? It's in the smile on our face, the care we take, the enthusiasm we bring to each task, whether cleaning a sink so that it shines and sparkles, or preparing a delicious meal, or greeting guests when they first arrive, unsure what to expect, only to receive a loving Kia Orana welcome.

I think the difference between someone who stands out for their excellence versus someone who drags himself through the day, just to earn some money, but wishing he were elsewhere, is the decision to bring one's whole heart to work. Colossians 3:23 says, "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily." The Baha'i Teachings say, "Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship." When we work with excellence, our whole life is a prayer.

There is a Cook Islander who spends every moment that he is transporting people to one of the lagoon cruises in joking banter. He's funnier than a stand-up comedian. I met him in the hospital one day when we were both there to see the doctor, and his humor, which is actually quite loving rather than the put-down kind, kept up the whole time. He brings cheerfulness and joy to everything he does. He makes people feel special. He is God's hands.

The young woman who comes to clean our home scrubs and polishes, cleans every surface, and takes great pride in what she does.  She throws herself into it 100%. She is God's hands.

A friend of mine ministers to the handicapped and the shut-ins on our island. She adores her job and loves the people. She will do anything they need, from cleaning a filthy bathroom - because it needs cleaning - to taking them shopping, wiping their tears and sometimes bathing them. She listens to elders tell the same story a hundred times. She sets no limits on what she is willing to do, because she is focused on loving them and meeting their needs, whatever they may be. She is truly God's hands.

Even when we aren't in an ideal job, and may not be doing what we love, we can put love into what we do. We have the choice each day to bring our whole heart to work. We can be fully present - heart, mind and soul - with our virtues of enthusiasm, love, trustworthiness, and service. They are the true keys to success in work and in life.

Enthusiasm


Author photo
Linda Kavelin-Popov

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