For the last year and a half, my friend Nate has worked half-time at Starbucks. The other half of his time, he's one of our pastors at The Vine, the upstart church we attend. Being a pastor has its own challenges—learning to properly care for people, feeling responsibility for people's faith and growth, and experiencing pressure on family responsibilities. I see Nate at church and at leadership meetings, working out solutions to these challenges with the other two pastors.
But I've also been able to watch as Nate searched for a part-time job with health insurance that would allow him to be near the University of Wisconsin campus because he wants to help students meet and follow Jesus. Nate gets up really early to sling lattes at undergrads before they're awake. He deals with crazy rushes, with lines snaking to the door, with loud conversations blathering around him, with sore feet as he dances around calling out orders.
Nate has chosen this path to get insurance, yes, but his primary drive is to share the love of Christ with people he works around, to answer hard questions of faith, to model a different way of living and a healthy family life. Nate never dreamed of working at Starbucks as the fulfillment of some longtime aspiration. But he's willing to because he loves Jesus and he loves other people. God's got him handing out scones, so he does it excellently.
In the Bible, God said to Adam, after he and Eve had just messed up big time: "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food" (Genesis 3:17-19).
This names a primary ...