Subduing the Work
Student Stories

Subduing the Work

Zach Sedmak

February 27, 2024

The greatest challenge that I’m learning to overcome at work this month is how to subdue my work. The word “subdue” had never come to my mind in regards to how I live my life until I woke up this morning. My first thought this morning when I imagined scraping paint today was, “Phew! At least it’s only an eight hour day today.” In a moment it seemed as if my mind corrected itself. “No! Subdue the day!” I’ve never enjoyed scraping paint, restoring antique windows, or making Asian rice bowls. As someone who is very people oriented, working jobs where I don’t engage much with others is a struggle for me. I tend to think that I’m not impacting the world around me unless I am engaging with the people around me. When I think of the different mandates from the Bible, the Great Commission has always resonated with me much more than the Genesis mandate to rule, reign, and subdue creation. I may still have a little Gnosticism in me, or my conviction that if people do not have the correct worldview then the way that they rule, reign, and subdue will be warped. A negative viewpoint I’ve noticed from this is that I don’t value the work that I do with my hands as important as the work that I do through my words. That’s the reason why I don’t wake up excited to restore antique windows or make Asian rice bowls. Today, however, was a day of repentance. My mind should be set on the idea of subduing creation, for it was the first mandate that we were given as man. A saying that I hear is, “God didn’t just save us from something, but He saved us to something.” He redeemed me and I am to carry out the original mandate that he has for humans on Earth. Jesus, who was the savior of the world, was a carpenter. I wonder if anyone who had purchased a table or chair made by Jesus appreciated it more after they heard of the miracles that he accomplished. I find Jesus’ ability to humble himself by coming from Heaven to dwell with us truly incredible. Even though he was the savior of the world, he was willing to slow down and intentionally handcraft tables, chairs, and other such things. As I meditated on the word “subdue” I found that I was working harder, thinking critically, and problem solving. I have been able to see that Jesus valued both the spiritual, natural, and practical in his life and I will be actively trying to do the same by intentionally pursuing my coworkers and subduing creation by working hard with my hands.

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