Overtime, Overloaded and Overworked
People are our greatest resources. As such, we are always thinking of ways to increase productivity so that with fewer people, we would be able to do more work. We hope to decrease the reliance on manpower as the population continues to shrink and age. We also hope to do more value-added jobs so that they would provide the country with a greater cutting age. However, we still have not find the right balance with regard to increasing productivity. When we talk about increase productivity, we usually mean to invest more in capital-intensive assets as compared to those which are labour-intensive. This means that with the help of machineries, we are able to do more work within a shorter time. Definitely, there have been more capital-intensive investments that depend less on manual power. Due to these arrangements, one person can handle the work of a few persons as compared to the past. In a sense, we have increase productivity. However, we did not realise that there are also more overtime than ever. With the cut of foreign manpower, foreign workers have to work longer hours, especially when they have a shorter deadline. We use their overtime to exchange a higher productivity for us. It is the same for the management side, one manager has to do the work of a few persons. This does not just happen in private companies but also in statutory boards. Even though executives do not have overtime pay, they have to work harder than ever. Many of them have to bring their jobs home. Perhaps, this is one of the key reasons why people are not having children. People are just overloaded and overworked. I would say that to many of them, they do not have financial problem in having more kids though increasing cost of living do pose a constant threat. But even if we have the money, we do not have the energy to bring up our kids. In the name of increasing productivity and to keep up the cutting edge of a First World nation, we have become a very overloaded people. Frankly speaking, there are many people who have no time to claim their leave. We have become a high-strung and a high tension society. People just got to work harder and harder as the government also works harder. There would be no end to this.
The Church, therefore, has a greater role to play. Rather than loading people with more work, she has to be a place of rest. There must be a sense of restedness and peace when we come into the presence of God. We should not be rushing in and out of the church and rushing to produce more programs and grow our church bigger. It should be a place where our souls are restored and our my are renewed. If the church does not help people to slow down their pace, we have failed. We have conformed to the pace of the world. Very soon, we would have worn out Christians. They would be more tired than the rest of the world. People would be fearful of becoming Christians. Who wants to get busier anyway?
Some may say that we can overwork for God, as long as we come to Him for those who are tired and weary. But I do not think that was what Jesus meant. Jesus is calling us to take up His yoke which is light. He is calling us to learn from Him who is meek. Jesus is calling for a balanced lifestyle. No cow should be overworked or overloaded. There is a need to unload and find true rest in Jesus.
World evangelisation is urgent, but it is not done at the expense of being overworked and overloaded. Sometimes, it is because we are the one who is hogging the work. We hold on to the work because we feel the need to be within our knowledge and control. We have the problem of disseminating the work and delegating them to others. We are not ready to let go and decentralize. This may be the reason why building mega churches is so popular these days. Is it not better to empower more leaders and let them run churches on their own? Why hog to the power on one central figure? Are our faith really building on God or on one charismatic figure who ended up have to be overloaded and overworked? I know they are willing and they feel good about it; they can even boast about it but is this Jesus’ lifestyle? Why are we getting busier than Jesus? Are we saying that we are more capable and more indispensable than Jesus? I am worried when we start to run churches like big organisations and companies. We start to drive people around and we measure people by their performance. In actual fact, we are following after the world rather than directing the world.
Perhaps, now is the time to re-evaluate our life and ministry. Where is it heading? Maybe it is time to unload and be rested in God. It is time to let go of our kingdom which we build with our own hands and surrender it to God. We can make a choice.