A Quote About Work

“If you lose yourself in your work, you find who you are. If you express the best you have in you in your work, it is more than just the best you have in you that you are expressing.”

Frederick Buechner, writer and theologian.

So, what exactly is this “more than just the best” that Buechner is talking about?


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2 Replies to “A Quote About Work”

  1. It’s not often that I really lose myself in my work but when it happens it can feel as if I had forgotten who I was and the sudden remembering is a joy. Buechner no doubt was referring to a connection to God. But we don’t need the language of religion to understand. We are capable of remarkable things when all our energy and attention moves fully and completely outside ourselves. Even I have surprised myself from time to time. My internally and carefully controlled intentions always turn out to be rather shallow and insipid. But when I allow joy and instinct to filter through my discipline and craft… well on very very rare occasions I sometimes think I’m capable of creating art.

    1. I think you’re right, Buechner was most likely talking about a connection to the divine, and I agree, we don’t need to use the burdensome language of theology. That feeling is universal and even atheists like myself experience it. It is also ineffable, though we keep trying to describe it. The closest I can come to describing it is a oneness with something larger than myself, what that “larger” is I’m not sure, so I settle for the word, “Universe.” Big word.

      I like what Robert Darden said when describing some of the music he’s trying to preserve:

      On this disc, was a powerful transcendent song that somebody wrote caught up in something a lot bigger than themselves. This disc has the power to transform lives. It is a disc that once it gets played and it is heard, lives will be touched.

      I’ll bet it happens more frequently than very very rarely. And I know that your paintings have touched many lives.

      As always, thanks for the awesome comment, David. Hope this finds you well.


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