By Fr. Alex Radulescu - I remember an old Romanian saying that goes like this: Totdeauna lucrul tãu sã-l începi cu Dumnezeu (Always start your work with the Lord). This saying is rooted in the Christian idea of glorifying God every time we start working. Why? Because He is our Creator. He gives us strength, intelligence, wisdom, and pretty much everything we need to labor for our own benefit and ultimately for our salvation.
I heard this saying many times from the people in the village where my parents and I had a small piece of land to work for ourselves. The people in the countryside knew from personal experience what this saying meant, since their work was so dependent on good weather. They crossed themselves before starting their daily routine.
During my teenage years, I used to spend the summers working on that piece of land with my parents. It was not easy work: summers were hot, spring and fall were chilly. We could not afford mechanized agriculture. We tilled the land by hand, pick the plants, spray them against bugs, etc. But it was rewarding to see the fruit of our labor: cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, corn, potatoes, green beans, carrots, green onions, and more. It was quite an experience for a city boy.
I was so impressed with the wisdom in all these folk sayings about God, nature, people, animals, and other aspects of life. These people spent all their life working with God in mind. They trusted that God who provided the land will also provide good weather and the strength to work on it. They knew that partnering with God is the best option.
What “start your work with the Lord” really means is that everything we do should be done to the glory of God for He is the one who enables us to work for our salvation. This echoes Psalms 127:1 that reads: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”
Brothers and sisters, all our work should start with the Lord and be dedicated to His glory. He gives us power, wisdom, and the strength to work not only for our material needs but also, most importantly, for our salvation. Amen.