Taking orders for 40 hours a week can be tiring, and often it seems purposeless (as Jordyn talked about in her previous post, One Sandwich At A Time). I feel drained emotionally & physically by the demand of being on my feet all day & the endless stream of orders being thrown at me left & right. But thankfully we serve a God who has a bigger, grander purpose for His Kingdom & lets His children aid in working towards bringing heaven to earth, refreshing & strengthening them along the way. The issue is, I (& maybe a few of you too) usually talk to God like this:
“Lord, here I am. I’m ready and willing to do whatever you ask of me (just make sure its something I enjoy, where I have friends & I get to do work that doesn’t go unnoticed. Oh, and a big paycheck would be a bonus!).”
We look for gratitude. We look for reassurance. We look for ‘thank you’. It is not wrong to want gratification, positive reinforcement helps keep us going (& when I don’t get direct validation I reward myself with coffee & cake because after hard days & difficult people a treat is the remedy) & words of encouragement are needed. But, here is the kicker: Am I afraid the Christian life will go unnoticed, or am I worried I won’t get credit for being a part of it?
Are you willing to have your name be a whisper so The Almighty can sound?
More than we like to admit, its the latter. If we are being honest, we want our names to be known. When people think of us we want them to think of our best qualities. But, the Christian life is not about your name being known (ouch). Oswald Chambers says it best:
“A Christian is called to be a doormat for others, because our love does not come from other people, but from Christ.”
So, back to this whole working thing – what does it look like to work for the Kingdom of God and not get validation by your name being cheered from the crowds. What would it look like for people to think of us, and automatically think of The Lord? We are called to work, whether we are paid for it or not. We are called to be fueled by God’s love and not man’s gratitude. This perspective flows onto more than work itself, but the job description. It means there is great hope because no matter what job you find yourself doing, if you are a student, unemployed, teaching, practicing medicine, sweeping streets or anything in between you are working for the name of The Almighty. You are doing redemptive work. You are participating in bringing heaven here.
I am not going to pretend to have it all together, I am still figuring this out myself. I have no idea how to implement this into my daily work life of interacting with rude costumers, handling temperamental management, & employee gossip. Most days, well actually pretty much everyday, I fail at letting God’s name sound. And after hard, brutally honest conversations I can admit I stay at work later, clean deeper, and interact kinder so my coworkers and costumers will say, “that one American, Megan, is awesome & does her job like a rockstar.” That doesn’t sound like letting the Almighty’s name sound.
All I know now is this:
1. I can prayerfully prepare for work. Praying for God to help & guide me to articulate, react & interact for His glory.
2. I can be (get ready for the christian buzz word) intentional. Stepping out of my comfort zone and truly explaining my lifestyle, instead of blaming it on “I’m just not into that sort of thing”
3. Continually recognizing all of this is impossible by myself, but with God, all things are possible.
We get to be a part of the redemptive plan, but we are not the superstars. Each day I am going to wake up and wrestle with God, asking Him for eyes to see things like He does, & a heart overflowing with His love, not man’s gratification to fuel me to work for His name. I am not going to lie to you, being broken & humbled is a painful process. It hurts. But, I am convinced that this process does not go wasted and I know, with all my heart, this road is dangerous (& painful) full of speed bumps and detours, but its the road I want to be on.