Imagine for a moment you're self-employed. Don't get too cocky. As the saying goes, the self-employed soon learn he works for a jackass.
However, to one extent or another, everyone is self-employed. You are your own manager. You decide how you spend your time at work. You choose to be industrious, cheerful and competent, or you choose to be slovenly, recalcitrant and vicious. If you were your boss, which employee would you choose to keep?
The Duke's Handmaid beautifully illustrates the idea of the willing slave. Is it slavery if you choose it? I'm not saying be a slave, but I am saying attitude goes a long way in making drudgery into delight. Choosing to be happy, to do your best, to treat each day as a gift from God is hard. Some days I don't feel like it at all. However, I try to keep a few things in mind.
One, God made us to work. Before the Fall and the Curse, God put Adam and Eve in the garden to tend it. That's work. Our bodies are designed to move. Our brains designed to think. Work allows us to do both. It is a privilege to be healthy and mobile. I know a lot of Friends who aren't. I don't consider work something to do until I retire. Work is what I do. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning, and wears me out so I can sleep at night. Work makes me strong, and smart. Work gives me opportunities to glorify God in other peoples' lives. Work is a gift.
Two, I chose this job. I don't live in Russia, or China. The government doesn't yet assign me a job (although all you socialists out there are trying to change that, bless your brain-damaged little selves). If I hate my job so much I'm miserable day in and day out, I need to pour my energies into finding another job. Good heavens, people, stop hanging around a place you hate. Is your life really so miserable you don't know what's like to not be miserable? *shakes head* I guarantee a change in self is the only way you'll really solve your problems, but try another job if you're not up to that challenge.
Three, I have a job. There are lots and lots of folks out there right this minute who don't. They don't know where their next paycheck is coming from, or when. I am grateful that is not one of my problems. I have plenty of others.
Check your attitude. Christians, especially, since we have so many Biblical directives on this point. Is your daily work gratifying to your Master? Do you strive to do everything for his glory and in his service? You don't have to be a pastor to serve God, and your witness in a "normal" setting can have a huge impact on the unsaved.
I serve God first, but He likes it when I do a good job for my human bosses and co-workers. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Finally, most bosses will keep a cheerful fool just because good attitudes can make all the difference in getting through a tough day. A cheerful and competent employee? That's gold.
Applaud the jellyfish.