For the last 30 years I have asked the question "what is work" and "what is a good job". For most people this question is pretty easy to answer. Work is what you do at least 40 hours a week. It is something that you do because more than anything you get paid to do it and it comes with benefits that really help you live life. (I am thinking health insurance here).
A "good job" is one which usually defined as one where you get a lot of money and the task you do is not unpleasant. This definition really works for most people.
But there are some really crazy exceptions to this idea of "work". Golf is not normally considered "work". It is a game that people play AFTER their work is done. It is played on weekends and holidays. People PAY to do it. But there are some people who don't pay anything to play golf. In fact some people get paid to play the game. It is the same game. To some it is their "job" to others it is what they do after their work is done. I think this is true of all sports.
Most Christians, after they have been around for a while teach Bible Studies and lead small groups. They try and help others when they are in need of help. Most Christians, like most golfers, don't get paid for it. But there are some of us who do. I am one of them. I love teaching the Bible and thinking about what it means and how we are to live as people who are devoted to Jesus. But why do I get paid for it when others don't?
There is a great couple who just joined our mission and arrived here in Germany a few months ago. These are the best folks. He is retried from a major airline and they are doing the same 'work' I am doing. I know this couple works as hard as I do and their Bible Studies are probably better. They don't get paid which is fine with them because they have his retirement. I am getting paid to do the work which is fine with me because I have no retirement and probably never will. Maybe it is like golf (except the word better doesn't apply). We both love doing it. One gets paid to do it, one does it for free.
One of the really hard parts of my "job" is there is no way to measure success. You can't really use money as a measuring stick (there isn't any) or the people (not many of them right now either). You can't really measure success based on spiritual impact as it can't really be seen and some time what you think you see isn't what is really there. I don't really have a boss who can tell me I am doing well or not. This is where golf is easier, you either hit the ball well or you didn't. The ball went in the hole or it didn't.
For most people, when they hear what makes my job hard they say things like "I would love to have that kind of problem at work". But take it from me, month after month it gets hard. And yet, and I want to be clear on this: THERE IS NOTHING ON EARTH I WOULD RATHER DO. (O.K. maybe teach home economics at Cactus High). But this isn't job charming. It isn't perfect. But it is a good fit and I am glad we are here.
Does this really look like "work"?