Posts Tagged 'Work'

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Summer Vocation: On the Glory and Value of Work


 

Reflections on our first jobs and the meaning of work.


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The Pressure's Off: Reflections on the Retirement of No. 18


 


Peyton Manning retired last week. A speech 18 years in the making brought his career to a close. And in that retirement speech, Peyton let us in to his inner world. What was behind this man’s enduring greatness, his cutthroat preparation? He ended his speech this way:

 

There’s a scripture reading, 2 Timothy 4:7: I have fought the good fight and I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Well, I’ve fought a good fight. I’ve finished my football race and after 18 years, it’s time. God bless all of you and God bless football.

 

Manning’s words made me immediately think of the end of Paul’s life as he wrote 2 Timothy 4:7. I felt as though Peyton was saying that there was not only a finish to his football career, but a death, as well. A death of his constant fighting and never-ending racing for quarterback perfection. In sharing a passage from the end of Paul’s life, it was as if Peyton allegorized his football career into a life. And that life has now died to retirement. It’s a wonder what now awaits someone who has died while they’re still alive.

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Let's Talk about Jim Carrey's Golden Globes Speech


 


It’s awards season. The Grammy Awards were a few nights ago, the Golden Globes did their thing back in January and the Academy Awards are February 28. Based on the ratings for the Grammy’s and the Globes, not everyone is into this annual parade of self-congratulatory preening from the Hollywood elite. We can only watch people pat themselves on the back so many times. It’s as if we’re watching an entire industry do their best Ron Burgundy impression. “Hey, everyone, come and see how good I look!” It can often be off-putting and ridiculous and (truth be told) boring.

But sometimes there’s a break in the script that makes it all worth it and that shows us how much we have in common with the stars.

Enter Jim Carrey’s presentation at the Golden Globes.

There’s lots to address here, but first, some very important observations.

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Gone Commercial: The Irony and Necessity of Commerce in 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'


 


It’s A Charlie Brown Christmas week here at All Things New. The classic holiday special turns 50 on December 9, so we’re celebrating by geeking out about all of its beauty, charm and wisdom. You can read all of our Charlie Brown posts here. Now, go memorize your lines and be ready to recite when your cue comes.


There’s a simplicity and a boldness to A Charlie Brown Christmas that disarms us — even 50 years after its debut. Flagrant commercialization and materialism are shown to be hollow and unsatisfying. Charlie Brown’s friends and family are, ahem, consumed by their wish lists and duty to perform. Pink aluminum Christmas trees, tens, twenties and real estate are all they think about until Linus mic drops Luke 2 on everyone and Charlie Brown finds himself reborn, a new man.

We eat it up. It hits something deep inside us. The cure for existential gridlock is not one more thing to do or one more present to open. Linus’s sermon in the empty auditorium is transcendent. Here’s where hope is found, in the words of a boy holding a stupid blanket. And that’s why we keep watching the show 50 years later. It cuts away our callous cynicism and helps us remember the reason for the season.

It’s for these reasons that A Charlie Brown Christmas is the best advertisement in the history of television.

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Take Your Soul to Work


 


“Our calling, simply as humans — and more so as followers of Christ — is wider than our career and survival, even in the modern age.” – Makoto Fujimura, Culture Care


Work. What is it good for?

If the answer is, “Nothing — except for paying for my Netflix subscription,” then we have a problem. And if the answer is, “Everything,” then we have an idol.

Finding an answer somewhere between these two poles is not easy. The question of work may be one of the most pressing questions of our time, especially for those who are born again in Christ. How, indeed, does our work fit in with God’s plan for the world? We feel the tension. We wrestle with our answers.

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