The word “bark” has a couple of meanings:  1) a dog’s loud call and 2) the surface of a tree trunk.  Sometimes we combine these in an expression like “you’re barking up the wrong tree.”  (That’s a joke!)

         In Washington state, people spread bark on their yards to keep out weeds and make them look pretty.  It can take many hours to spread bark in a typical suburban yard.  First you put the bark into a wheelbarrow with a shovel.  Then you dump the bark and spread it with a rake.  It’s good physical work!

         What kinds of work do you do in your life?  Do you work with your hands, your whole body, your mind?  Do you relate to other people a lot?  How much of your work is physical, mental or social?   Do you like a mix of physical, mental and social  work in your life?  What combination of work is ideal for you?

         There is a kind of work that we do as a career, and another kind of work that we do to take care of our home and family.  Are these kinds of work very different for you?  Or are they similar?  Do you like both kinds of work?  Why or why not?  How do you and your spouse, family or roommates divide up the work at home?  Do you choose by skill or by preference?

         How does leisure fit into your life?  Do you prefer mental, physical or social types of leisure activities?  Give examples.

         How do you like the balance of activities in your life right now?  Has the balance been better in the past?  Do you think it will improve in the future?  Why or why not?

         What kind of physical shape are you in right now?  Think of your lungs (aerobic capacity), your arm strength, your leg strength, flexibility.



         “Do everything you can to live a quiet life.  Mind your own business.  Work with your hands, just as we told you to. “  1 Thessalonians 4:11

         “People who don’t want to work say, “There’s a lion outside!”  Or they say, “I’ll be murdered if I go out into the streets!”   Proverbs 22:13

         “I went past the field of someone who didn’t want to work.  I went past the vineyard of a man who didn’t have any sense.  Thorns had grown up everywhere.  The ground was covered with weeds.  The stone wall had fallen down . . I learned a lesson from what I saw.  You might sleep a little or take a little nap.  You might even fold your hands and rest.  Then you would be poor, as if someone had robbed you.  You would have little, as if someone had stolen from you.”  Proverbs 24:30-34


What are the messages from these three different quotes?