THE SACRED MEANING OF EVERYDAY WORK
By Robert H. Tribken
Your faith and spirituality can help you find a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in your work
Many of us have a deep, intuitive desire to connect with something deeper than ourselves; for many, this means a deeper awareness of God and the divine mystery as we go through the week. And we have a closely related desire to contribute to the greater good and the well-being of other people through our work.
These powerful desires can profoundly affect our work lives if we let them guide us to our deeper purpose.
The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work will help you find this new sense of purpose and deal with your challenges and opportunities with wisdom, strength, and courage.
Kindle/ebook $9.99, Paperback $18.49.
Some of the topics discussed in the book:
- The deep resources of your own faith or spirituality can help you find the deeper meaning and purpose of your everyday work.
- How to cultivate character strengths like courage, integrity, and compassion that you need to lead others in a time of uncertainty.
- What the Bible actually says about your work’s positive value and contribution to human flourishing.
- Short spiritual practices that can be done during the workday and that will help you relax, turn your attention toward God, and focus on the work at hand.
- Ways to face and overcome work-related problems like stress, burnout, and interpersonal conflict.
- How the values you bring to your work can encourage the teamwork essential for your success.
- Leadership can have a spiritual dimension; understanding this will help you and your organization work toward a better future.
From the Introduction:
Many of us have a deep, intuitive desire to connect with something deeper than ourselves; while some might use different words, for many this means a deeper awareness of God and the divine mystery.
And we have a corresponding desire to allow this awareness, however we understand it, to inspire us as we live our lives and work with a renewed desire to make a positive contribution to the greater good and the well-being of other people.
We might not be aware of these desires for much of our lives, but from time to time they seem to emerge into our consciousness. And I believe they can still have a powerful effect even when they remain hidden in our subconscious.
When we are aware of these desires and express them through our work, it takes on new meaning—we might call this its sacred meaning.
This involves who we are at the core of our being, how we relate to God and the great mystery, and how our work contributes to the well-being of others. It involves the biblical concept of shalom, or human flourishing, and how we deal with things that get in the way, especially sin, pervasive evil, and catastrophic misfortune. And it can involve spiritual practices that deepen our awareness of God as we work and follow our path of growth.
In a time of crisis, whether caused by economic difficulty or other factors, understanding the deeper meaning of our work can help us act with more courage and resilience. It can help us handle the challenges associated with being out of work when we are unemployed. And it can help us keep our spirit of enterprise and optimism as we overcome obstacles and seek new opportunities.
What early readers are saying:
The author addresses the human need for purpose and to “connect with something deeper than ourselves”, and does so in a way that offers new insights for our consideration. The result is a book that can help us think through the deeper meaning of work and business and connect these with our own faith or spirituality. . . I HIGHLY recommend buying this book.
What an amazing book. I am so glad I found this. A “manual” for people like me, suffering from burnout syndrome and busyness. The author shows how to reconnect with your true self and what it really means to be human. . . I can highly recommend this wonderful book.
This book suggests practical ways your faith or spirituality can help you move in this direction. The author offers for your consideration insights from multiple sources, including the Bible, contemporary research, and his and others’ experience in business. He invites you to consider these in light of your own faith or spirituality and your own work experience.
Throughout the book the author smoothly weaves personal business experiences and his views with current research findings, as well as biblical stories, which kept my interest and made the reading enjoyable. Almost every time I put the book down it left me with thoughts to ponder and a smile.. . . This was my best read of the year.
Mr. Tribken has written both an educational and practical text, walking the fine line be scholarship and spirituality. But what makes his writing so enjoyable is its inherent humility, keeping exhortations and criticisms to a minimum. And to boot, his writing is extremely clear and concise. Highly recommended!
A high value read for anyone of any faith that wants to increase spirituality, especially in relation to work.
Sacred Rhythm raised my awareness and perspective about living out and actualizing my spirituality in my work-life. It helped me be “more fully alive, engaged, purposeful and compassionate” in all my life. Thank you.
Table of Contents
Reconnecting Spirituality and Our Work Lives
The Challenge of Integration
What To Expect From This Book
Chapter One: Genesis – Human Purpose, Dignity, and Potential
The First Great Creation Story – Genesis 1
Humans as Co-Creators?
Chapter Two: Shalom and Flourishing in the Workplace
Shalom in the Bible
Shalom and Contemporary Work-Related Research
Our Work as Service to Others
Chapter Postscript: The Alleviation of Poverty in the Bible
Chapter Three: What Goes Wrong – Sin and Alienation
Sin in the Workplace
The Story of Cain
A Story of Greed and Excessive Self-Concern
Temptation and the Downward Cycle
Restoring Shalom After Sin
Chapter Four: What Goes Wrong – Misfortune and Adversity
Failure and Setbacks
Chapter Five: Cultivating Character Strengths
Collaboration and the Values We Bring to Our Work
A Spiritual Connection?
Thoughts on Prayer
Spiritual Practices for Our Work Lives
Examples of Short Spiritual Practices
Reflecting Upon Our Work – The Prayer of Examen
Chapter Seven: Can Your Work Be Your Calling?
What Do We Mean by Calling?
Expressing Our True Self
Benefits of a Calling
Implications for the Organization
What If My Work Cannot Be My Calling?
How Do We Develop a Calling?
Chapter Eight: Spiritual Dimensions of Leadership
The Inner Life of Leaders
The Shalomic Organization
Appendix A: Work in the Bible
Appendix B: Work in the Twenty-First Century
Appendix C: Spirituality and the State of Flow
Appendix D: The Opportunity for Churches
Name and Subject Index
About the Author
Robert Tribken has been in business for more than four decades and is the founder of several businesses. Along the way, he has had to deal with many of the most difficult issues people face in their work lives.
Over the years, Tribken became interested in the connection between faith, spirituality, and work. Several decades spent working in business combined with several years studying theology and becoming acquainted with organized Christianity convinced him that there is a great need to find better ways for churches to minister to people in the vocational aspects of their lives. He launched the Center for Faith and Enterprise to meet this need and help people experience a new sense of purpose, fulfillment, and effectiveness in their work lives.
Tribken’s educational background helps him explore the connections between faith, spirituality, and work. He earned an MBA from The Harvard Business School and an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Currently, Tribken is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation at Fuller. He has also spent considerable time researching positive organizational psychology and has incorporated findings in his writings.
Tribken has led retreats, taught classes, led groups engaged in contemplative practices, and spoken on the subjects of spiritual practices, connecting faith and work, business as a calling, and the role of business in ending poverty. In addition to his work with the CFE, he has been involved with several other non-profit organizations dealing with the connection between faith and work. In past years, he has served as volunteer Chairman of the Board of Partners Worldwide, a board member of the Max DePree Center for Leadership, and an advisor to entrepreneurs.