During college, I was a *wince* telemarketer. (Sorry if I ever called you.)
Journalism on and off for six years, brief stint in a casino marketing department. While studying geology, I decorated cakes and proofread for a newspaper.
Five years working on boats and investigating storm drains before becoming a stay-at-home mom to Mr. Brady. When he was 4, it was back to cake decorating, then magazine writer, then laid off, and now self-employed with my husband.
Work has been a roller coaster for me. One thing I wish had known during all of those jobs was the simple idea that it could be a form of worship.
My faith didn't emerge until I was 38, but once it did this idea of work being worship - or even at times ministry - began to grow on me. And our pastor put it so well a few Sundays ago in honor of Labor Day.
The message resonated with me even more-so because we're self-employed. Our job can be what we make of it. Here were some points he covered:
It's all too easy to think, "Look at what I did." While it's natural and healthy, I think, to appreciate a job well done and use it as motivation to continue to do well, I have also found it freeing to say instead, "Look what God did through me." We can offer up our work as testimony and worship.
Not only that, who along the way also worked through Him to help you achieve what you did? When you take the focus off of you and place it instead of the Lord and those around you, the accomplishment is even bigger.
Ask for help
A different pastor once said this during a sermon and it stuck with me: "It's not that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. He gives you more than you can handle WITHOUT HIM." If we try to tackle things in life alone, it will be much more of a burden than if we do our best, control what we can and give the rest over to God.
Work can be difficult sometimes, scary, uncertain, challenging. There may be rude co-workers or long hours or big decisions.
But you are where you are for a reason. You possess your talents and skills for a purpose. You can make a difference. You can bring something beautiful to your job. And you are not alone.
In every area of life, there are things that come up that don't feel right. Temptations, easy paths, coercion or pressure from others. I like to say that there's not a time for God and then a time for you. All time should be God's time, and all deeds should be done with Him in mind.
Your conscience should guide you in every aspect of your work. That is yet another way for it to serve as worship and to serve as an example to others.
Remember the ultimate boss
Like our pastor also said recently, JC is our ID. Our worth is in Him and that should be expressed through our job, but our job should not be what drives us.
Jobs come and go, bosses come and go. If you serve God - the Ultimate Boss - well, then the rest will sort itself out. Day in and day out, we do our jobs. It can seem boring, tedious, monotonous sometimes. It can seem thankless and pointless.
But if we offer it up as worship - the worship of helping others, of keeping things running smoothly, of serving a necessary purpose, of building things, teaching things, using the gifts given to you - then it becomes something more and it can help you rise above the daily grind. I really believe that.
Here are a few of my odd jobs. I wonder how much better they could have been if I had known that one simple thing:
|Journalism days at a women's magazine.
|Cake decorating. It was an ocean cake. I loved it!
|Driving a boat, yes for work, really! We did water quality monitoring.
|Investigating storm drains. Don't dump anything in them!
|And the best job of all, raising Brady.