Friday, December 16, 2011

Me, God and My Job

“Faith refers to loving God with all that we have and all that we are, our hearts, souls, minds and strength.  Faith means fidelity, loyalty to the God who loves us, who rescued us.  All that we do, in word and deed, must be done in the name of the Lord Jesus.” ~Jack Wisdom (pretty cool last name, huh?)

In thinking on this phrase, I have realized that not everything I do at work is done as an act of faith.  In fact, I think of much of my work as a penance. 

As a single mom, there are countless ways I have willingly died to self - and each of those little deaths have brought me untold blessings in the form of joy, deepened understanding, greater capacity to love - give - receive, and taught me what it is to be truly thankful for a God in control of everything. 

Why then has this been so hard for me at work?  I think in large part it is because I do feel called to something entirely different than what I’m doing now.  My work does not equal my calling and my workplace is a pretty negative and dark environment.  So at work I have allowed the negativity to blind me to my overriding call as a Christian - to die to self in order that my life might glorify God. I think this is probably true of many believers who work in a secular environment.

In loving God with all that I have, I have neglected to love him with my job - a job I have told Him I’m thankful for (after all, it does pay the bills) because when I landed this job five years ago I definitely considered it one of God’s many successful rescues in my life.  But in regards to current thankfulness for my job, I talk to God out of both sides of my mouth - from one I profess gratitude, from the other I beg Him for a speedy deliverance from what I now consider my own personal hell on earth. 

What is my job really though?  A place where I can daily use my God-given strengths to minister in such a way that my efforts might restore and redeem brokenness in my workplace and greatly glorify our God.  My prayer: Show me the way Lord!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Curioser and Curioser!

Recently, I read an interview of a man named Dr. John Medina who talked about how curiosity is a really good thing. Questioning is a really good thing. Doubt is what generally leads to both curiosity and questioning. God isn't afraid of doubt, curiosity or questions – and that as believers, we shouldn’t be afraid either, not if we believe that God is the source of all truth.  Dr. Medina states that curiosity actually sets us on the road to God. He equates finding God with true success and does not consider social or professional status, money or worldly possessions success.

I agree with the belief that the closer we get to Jesus and the more we let Him into our life the more truly successful we will be. This is why I also agree that curiosity is important – in fact I believe it is vital to our faith and our life. We should always want to know more - more about who God is, the world He created, the people He’s placed in it, and our purpose while we take up space here.  That’s why I believe it is vital to realize that:

Our social and professional status can be reduced.
Our money can be lost.
Our possessions can be taken away.
Knowledge is ours forever - as is our relationship with God. No one and nothing can take either away. If we are curious about who God is and what His plan for us is, and we endeavor on searches to satisfy our curiosity and follow them all the way through to the limit    I believe those searches will always lead to Jesus. As we become more curious about Jesus, who He is and who we are in Him - He becomes the center of our lives. When Jesus is our center we relinquish our attempts to control (they are absolutely futile anyway). We stop living or doing or being by our human will and instead live by God’s will. Our efforts are then in His awesome and capable hands.

When we are in line with God’s will, we are fulfilling our purpose in God’s plan for His Kingdom - we are doing Kingdom work.  Is there any greater success? No.

Can we ever know all there is to know about God, Jesus and the Kingdom of God? No.

As we follow searches to satisfy our curiosity will we come to the realization that the more we learn the more we have yet to learn? Yes.

Will we also come face to face with our own human failings along the way? Yes.

Will we find Jesus (and God’s mercy and grace) even then? Definitely.

Praying that we all stay curious and search for more of Jesus always, but maybe especially during Advent.