By: Ben McEachen
Despite how we can try to keep them apart, what we do and who we are should not – and cannot – be separated.
“It is impossible for us not to take our spirituality with us to work,” Kara Martin said.
Kara is a lecturer and speaker on the intersection of Christianity and work.
“Spirituality is fundamental to who we are as people,” she said in our interview.
Spirituality is the sense of the divine which we all hold or seek after, according to Kara (who wrote the books Workship 1 and 2).
As religious philosopher Blaise Pascal put it, we have a “God-shaped hole” within us. Spirituality describes that “hole” and what we look to fill it with. Spirituality matters. At work
As in plenty of countries, Australia has laws and expectations about separation between our work and what we personally believe.
For plenty of occupations, what we think about the meaning of life or who created us can seem completely unrelated to our tasks at hand.
“I think the average Aussie thinks spirituality is personal. It’s private. That stays at home.”
In sharp contrast, Kara believes that no matter where you work or what you do, spirituality matters.
Jackie Bailey agrees. Jackie wrote in The Guardian that a shared principle of many religions or belief systems is “do more good than harm”.
Rather than leave such a core principle at home or at the door to your office, Jackie argued that it is necessary for meaningful, connected and considered work.
“By taking a deep breath, focusing briefly on my body, I can check in with myself and my values,” Jackie wrote about tapping into spirituality at work.
“Am I doing more good than harm, right now in this moment, to both myself and others?”
Jackie Bailey identified as “spiritual”, informed by various traditions and teachings.
Working for God, with God
Kara said the increase in Australian workers who profess different religions has actually helped the acceptance of spirituality in the workplace.
“[This has] made organisations more aware that they need to accommodate the faith of the people that work for them,” she said.
But as a Christian, Kara understands that God created us in his image, to share in the work of looking after the world he has made.
Pointing back to the building blocks of Genesis 1 and 2, Kara encourages us to recognise God as our maker and what he created us to participate in.
Yes, you can call that taking your spirituality to work. Every day.
“That’s what our work should be about,” Kara said. “We should be seeking to do that in our daily work. Bringing our spirituality and seeing our job as an opportunity for us to steward God’s creation.
“Seek to serve others through our work.”
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.
Feature image: Canva Pro