"Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much revenue comes by the strength of an ox" Proverbs 14:4
Good morning! I have been quoted several times in these devotionals that we should keep our office desks straight, neat and organized. In some cases it can indicate to others a well-ordered and well-maintained workplace. But there is another side to be considered in light of today's verse above. In biblical days, when a farmer had no oxen to plow his fields, his barn and manger (feeding troughs) were clean and neat because they were empty. If the goal, therefore, was a clean barn then the farmer was a real winner. But farmers exist to grow crops and create produce. Strong revenue followed bumper crops and bumper crops were not possible without oxen in the manger. So a cluttered, crowded and messy barn smelled like cash to a hopeful farmer!
For most of us, the workplace is teeming with people, either in person, over the phone or on the internet. You can keep your desk, in-box, work, and even your heart "clean and neat" by keeping people (co-workers and clients, etc.) at bay and your work and life in general will probably be much simpler, neater and less cumbersome. But if your workplace goal is to serve God by serving people then some relational clutter will be par for the course. And if you have none this morning then you may be avoiding opportunities to develop friendships and workplace alliances that will eventually foster spiritual fruit over time not to mention tangible financial revenue for your company.
Today's Workplace Goal: Search your heart and ascertain what your true goal really is on the job. Is it just to keep a "clean manger" (or office)? If so, your spiritual "revenue" may be scraping bottom. Decide to connect with co-workers and associates around you. Ask the Lord to help you identify another believer in your work context then join forces with him/her and double the presence of Christ in your office. Identify someone who is lost and become a part of his life in a real, meaningful way with the hope of modeling Christ for him and pointing him in Christ's direction. Mentor a younger or less-seasoned employee or co-worker and help her develop more fully in her occupation. Don't be afraid of getting your "manger" messy; the people who will fill it up are worth it. The revenue for your company and for the Kingdom of God will be well worth the additional clutter that is generated for having taken interest and gotten involved in their lives and careers! Go round up some "oxen" in your company and start plowing! Have a wonderful Friday!