You Don't Have to Quit to Find Life-Giving Work
A supervisor's position opened up one day, and as was the custom, it was posted for the staff and employees first, so they could apply for it if they chose to do so. This had happened many times before, but this particular night, Rob asked me if I thought he should put in for it. He asked me if I thought he would do a good job. I affirmed both. Rob applied for the job and because he had been there so long, he was granted an interview. He was given the position, and Rob worked hard from that point on to improve the workplace.
When I asked Rob why he decided to go after the promotion this time, he told me it was because he felt he had something to offer. He wanted to change the work environment. I could only imagine at this point what Rob may have been wrestling with. Maybe he was even at a crossroads—a decision he had to make about himself and why he was in this job. Had his kingdom imagination kicked in so that he now saw something beyond what was right in front of him and embraced this as an opportunity? Did he just get tired of emptying trash? I am not sure what caused this shift in Rob but something was causing a shift. He was not imagining life differently—a redemption of his thoughts, if you will, from the narrow to the big, from the self to others.
Rob took his ordinary life of cleaning offices and emptying trash cans, a life which felt like a failure to him, and he made an offering of it. He didn't leave his place of employment, nor did he realize God had placed these tasks in his heart as a calling. Rather, he discovered the ways God was calling him to serve and care for his coworkers through leadership. His simple job transformed into a calling to help people, and Rob's life became extraordinary. Rob's transformation also created an environment where others could experience grace and perhaps see their contribution as important. Extraordinary calling lifts, inspires, and creates on roads for grace to be established and experienced.
When we stop to think about it, we want those around us working for more than simply their paycheck. What type of care can you really receive from the doctor who is just doing his job? And what about a pastor who only preaches to cash his paycheck? Sometimes it even feels difficult ordering a hamburger from someone who is clearly there just to clock in and clock out. In all the areas of our lives, we are blessed and encouraged by those who are working out the calling God has placed on their lives. We hope that those taking care of our children, our health, educating us, or ministering to us love what they are doing and truly have a deeper understanding and commitment to their work.
Life-giving work is available to all of us. But we must alter our primary question from "How much money can I make?" Instead, we must explore those areas where we can serve. How can I take what I am doing, what I believe I was made to do, or what I feel God may be calling me to do, and turn it over to God? In this offering, we can count on him to transform our offering into something extraordinary. We must let God use our lives to change the world, draw people to him, and offer hope in desperate situations. That calling brings excitement, engagement and much more motivation than money can provide.