25 January 2011

On the Alientaion of Labor

Yesterday's Kindle-ings post on "the alienation of labor" was interesting to me for a number of most reasons, with the most obvious being that I think all of us have experienced this alienation at some point.

I remember working at NuStar Energy, where my piece of the job of building a pipeline was almost all front-end legal work. It was entirely possible to do a ton of work, finish my piece, and never hear of a project again.

There was a specific project that I was able to go out and see the construction of and it absolutely changed my level of buy-in for the work I was doing.

In ministry, we face this every day. The sermon preached today may not be internalized for months or years. The counseling session or phone call rarely ends in clean resolution. We have our widget (in this case some sort of spiritual formation), attempt to add it faithfully to the production line of life, and then wonder where the results might end up.

Consider your life. Where are you alienated in your work and where would seeing more of the finished product change the way you feel about your labor?

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