You were made for work. God created the earth to be a challenge for mankind. The creation was good and challenging. God’s creation was not without difficulty. The good creation had rough edges that needed to be smoothed. There was hard work to be done!
Even though man was created sinless, he was still finite. Unlike God, Adam and Eve could not make things happen by force of will. God made them for work. Look again at the mandate given to Adam and Eve and to all mankind:
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”Genesis 1:28
Our first parents were commanded to occupy the earth, subdue and rule over it. God called them to work. This means that recreation and leisure, though needed and enjoyable, was not the primary responsibility given to people. The fall changed many things, but perhaps one of the important changes was that work was not longer seen as a command from God. Work became a means to selfish ends or even something to avoid.
But God’s mandate was perfectly balanced. Embracing the challenges of life as blessings from God gave meaning, purpose and satisfaction to our existence. Imagine what a sinless human race could have accomplished. My father-in-law was fond of saying that in a sinless world man would have reached the moon in the second generation.
Because of our sin, we will have to wait for heaven to know the full potential of what a sinless race of humans can accomplish. Yet, because of the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Creation, we can embrace the challenges God has for us now. We can live and work, we can obey God’s mandate to occupy, subdue and control the earth the Glory of our great God.