Category Archives: Work


Complexity and difficulties are very challenging for some people to appreciate.  Take the person who studies mechanical engineering in college, lands a great job, works at it for forty years, and then retires with a nice nest egg.

Now take the person who studies art history in college.  Museum jobs are few and far between.  Teaching jobs even less so.  She makes ends meet by working in a restaurant and being a security guard at night.  Our art historian can understand how some people are able to rather easily find employment, but our engineer has a tougher time understanding why the art historian can’t find gainful employment.  All this leads to an interesting dynamic at play.

If your life has been a pretty simple A leads to B kind of existence, it is easy to assume that this is how life is suppose to work.  When it does not happen for certain people like the art historian, we like our engineer friend may be tempted to conclude that some mistakes were made along the way.  We might speculate that our art historian was not a good student or perhaps is not very good with people.  It baffles those of us who have this A leads to B notion to find out our art historian made stellar grades, won various academic honors, and has many friends.

How do we process all that?  How we do will tell us much about ourselves, but probably more about God.



He is a major character in five chapters of one of the most important books of the Bible: Exodus.

Bezalel and his buddy Oholiab had funny sounding names, but they have much to teach us.

In fact, Bezalel was not only skilled with his hands, but also called to train others (Ex. 35:34).  Talk about the dignity of all work!

R. Paul Stevens mentions in his fine book, The Other Six Days, how the clearest and earliest example of the Holy Spirit falling on someone in the Old Testament is Bezalel (Ex. 31:3).  And he was neither prophet nor priest.  He was a craftsman, skilled and creative so he could make beautiful things…for God!

And here is a shocker.  I dug a bit and found out that the Babylonian Talmud (third to fifth centuries AD) asks how old Bezalel was when called by God to build the tabernacle:

Now, how old was Bezalel when he made the Tabernacle? Thirteen years, for it is written… (Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin 69b)