I often receive assignments in ministry that require what I like to call a “high courage quotient.” Whether it is speaking before large audiences, heading up an event, or singing on a new stage, my schedule is full of requirements that stretch me and draw me from my comfort zone. Over the years, I have had to learn to fight through anxiety and do the things I am called to do, afraid or not.

As a young college student, I dealt with the constant frustration of fear trying to rob me of the joy in the work I felt called to do. I was recently reminded of a struggle years ago, when I was the worship leader of my youth group. One evening before service, I was so nervous about my performance leading worship I was shaking and sick to my stomach. I stood outside of the church doors praying,

“Lord, what am I going to do? I can’t go on stage like this.”

The Lord spoke to me in that moment, and I have never forgotten. I carry this with me now onto every stage and into every endeavor. He told me,

“just have fun.”

Revolutionary! Work can be fun.

“When was the last time this had been fun?” I thought.

My fear dissipated and I lead worship that evening like I actually enjoyed being there.

I have often heard it said that play is the work of children. I believe this should be no different as we age. From the corporate world to teaching, retail, or civil services, I believe we were meant to enjoy our work: to have fun. However serious the nature of our occupations, however heavy the tasks at hand, there is joy to be had if we will look for it.

When our focal point becomes the joy in the work, and our performance becomes periphery, we live more fulfilling, exciting lives. And what’s more, joyful people work harder.

Antonette Weatherly is a wife, mother and minister who lives in the Sherman area. You can find her weekly serving at Victory Life Church. She can be reached at antonetteweatherly@gmail.com.