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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

the Revelation

I’ve been thinking a lot about occupations.  Occupations occupy a big chunk of our time and energy.  They are often how we define ourselves.  What are you?  I’m a carpenter.  You’re a printer.  A tax preparer.  A plumber.  A salesman.  An engineer.  Whatever.  And since the majority of us work in secular fields, I kind of operated under the notion that occupations were evil, that they were a way of Satan keeping us down, keeping us from what we should be doing, keeping us occupied.  And for me that was true.  I don’t like my job.  Loathe it in fact, it’s not what I want to be doing with my time.  I spend a lot of time hating my job.  I think, man, how much writing could I be getting done, how much work on the house, how much time does this take from my family?  Hating my occupation occupied a big chunk of my time and energy.  Hating my occupation had become my occupation.

In my mind, losing my job was a lot like winning the lottery.  Lord, if I only had a million dollars, what amazing stuff I could do.  I know so many people I could help with that kind of money.  I could give to the church.  I’d be free, so I could volunteer more. Think of all the good I could do.  Have you ever thought these thoughts?  When you put “lottery” in there, I understand the reasons that these are all wrong-headed thoughts.  God has all the money He needs, it’s us He wants.  He wants us to help the poor with the resources he has already given us.  He wants us to give to the church what we already have.  He wants us to volunteer the time we already have.  He wants us to do good now.

But when it came to my occupation I couldn’t see that.  Not until this week.  I had been complaining to God that I didn’t have the right occupation.  That I was misplaced, overworked, underused for the kingdom.  When in fact I was missing a very alarming point. 

 

A long time ago, there was a comic strip called Arlo and Janis.  Arlo is shown working at his computer in his little office when all of a sudden he gets this revelation.  He jumps up, runs out into the main floor and yells at his coworkers, “They lied to us!  These aren’t careers!  They’re jobs!”

 

Arlo is right!  You’re occupation is not what it says on your tax forms, apologies to my wife, the tax pro.  You are Christians!  You are disciples of Christ, the Son of God.  You are His representatives to a fallen world.  You are here to show everyone you meet how much God loves them!  God has given us jobs to do while we’re here, yeah, but that’s not our career, that’s not the path of success we follow.  Serve your coworkers, wash feet, pray for everyone you meet and demonstrate how much Christ loves them by loving them.  No matter how unlovable, no matter where God puts you to do that, that is your occupation.  I know, it's not much of a revelation but it was exactly what i've needed to know.

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