On the need to Work

“For the first time I began to realize an odd consequence of the social effort in which we are at present engaged.  An yet, come to think, it is a logical consequence enough.  Strength is the outcome of need; security sets a premium on feebleness. The work of ameliorating the conditions of life – the true civilizing process that makes life more and more secure – had gone steadily on to a climax. One triumph of a united humanity over Nature had followed another…But with this change in conditions comes inevitably adaptations to that change.  What, unless biological science is a mass of errors, is the cause of human intelligence and vigour?  Hardship and freedom: conditions under which the active, strong, and subtle survive and the weaker go to the wall; conditions that put a premium upon the loyal alliance of capable men, upon self-restraint, patience, and decision…Humanity had been strong, energetic, and intelligent, and had used all its abundant vitality to alter the conditions under which it lived.  And now came the reaction of the altered conditions.  Under the new conditions of perfect comfort and security, that restless energy, that with us is strength, would become weakness. (37, 39)  The Time Traveller by H.G. Wells

Wells is commenting on the process of making life easy which inevitably leads a people to ruin and subjugation.  In modern western nations, we have long lived an easy life where people now bock at having to work, would rather live off of others and are simply lazy.  The end result is nothing other than what is pictured in the book, those who must work will triumph over those who choose not to.  The great transfer of wealth from the West to the East has begun and unless we rise up and reclaim a work ethic, our future is bleak.
But their is more in the novel than simply a commentary on work.Those who lived the easy life, became the victims of life’s underground and hidden forces.  Sin, continued to exist even in the perfect world and hence, death reigned and took its toll on all who refused to acknowledge its presence.  Truly Wells understood something about the human nature apart from divine redemption and recreation.  Unless God alters our world, there is no hope of rest, but thankfully, in Christ the new age has been inaugurated and it will one day be completed and death and sin will no longer have a place in the new world.

About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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