Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men (NASB)

On May 4, 2000 the "ILOVEYOU" virus struck the US and rapidly streaked across the country.  Shortly after 7 a.m. that morning I received an email message from Vincent Farinaro, our company's email infrastructure manager, giving the basic details of the virus and promising a remedy.  Beneath the Vincent's name was a thought-provoking statement: "Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.".  The next couple of days were somewhat chaotic due to employee questions and concerns about the virus, even though Vincent provided a quick and effective fix for the virus.  It was only later that his brief comment had a chance to sink in, proving to be serendipity at its finest.

Have you ever looked up the word amateur in a dictionary?  The root of the word comes from the Latin for "Love".  (Check it out online.)  Having been a Latin student for two years in high school, I should have known this (amo, amas, amat).  But the word is so commonly used that I seldom give it much thought.  The secondary dictionary meaning is usually implied when the word is used to describe someone (inept; as opposed to expert, master, or professional).  However, amateur more correctly means someone who does something for the love of it.  Think about that for a moment.

Why can't a professional also be an amateur?  Wouldn't you rather have a car mechanic (or a surgeon) who loved finding the cause of problems, correcting them, and helping you to avoid new ones?

In the passage cited above, Paul strikes at the heart of the Christian lifestyle.  Love prompted God to make salvation possible through the sacrifice of Jesus.  Love compelled Jesus to leave His honored position in heaven to carry out the Father's plan.  When we receive this marvelous gift, it produces a love for Jesus that makes us desire above all else His approval of our thoughts and actions.  God's message is one of love and it is love that inspires and motivates the course of our life in Him.

When we understand that even a "secular" occupation is a form of worship, it affects how we approach our work.  We strive to be the best we can be at work so that we can be better servants of our Lord.  As an amateur, our job literally becomes a labor of love.

Be a professional amateur at all you do!

?000 Eutychus, The Webservant,

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