Hi everyone, it’s Mick here and welcome to Wednesday’s Podcast. For those of you who noticed the mistake yesterday it is definitely January and not December! A reminder this week of our vision for 2020 here at STC – ‘Join Us for the Better Life’ with Bible reflections helping us consider how our 24/7 busy lives can be radically and practically changed as we engage with this better life that Jesus calls us too. Yesterday, how we spend our time as we considered the UP IN OUT of our lives; today something really practical, a reflection on work.
Work … it can be defined in many ways – perhaps the following two definitions are the most common.
1 physical or mental effort directed towards doing or making something
2 paid employment at a job or a trade, occupation, or profession
However we define it, we spend most of our waking time engaged in work. It is estimated that we will spend around 90k hours at work in our lifetime, that’s over 3,500 days. I hope these little facts help your working day zoom along! Seriously, if we spend so much time ‘at work’ how can the Better Life Jesus brings change the working life I engage with everyday? read on …
Paul has some wise words to say about ‘work’; remember, he was a part time tent maker as well as an amazing theologian/ church planter so he knew what he was talking about!
Colossians 3:23-24 NIV
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. …
Last year, we engaged with the Grow Project here at STC – nineteen online modules over twelve months containing scriptures, articles, blogs, videos and worksheets all of which was to help us Grow as disciples of Jesus. In one particular module we considered our ‘Calling’ as disciples; let me remind you again of these words in the introduction to that module …
For many, our identity is often found in what we do, what we have and what other people think of us.
As his disciples our identity is found only in Jesus and becoming like him. This is our true ‘calling’, our ‘vocation’. Work is such an important part of our lives and we often think of work as a means to an end, to get what we need so we can do what we want. Our workplaces are often overlooked when we think of our ‘calling’.
As a disciple of Jesus, I have found such a release to understand the difference between my ‘occupation’, the work I do – and my ‘vocation’, the Godly calling upon my life. In my own life, since becoming a Christian, my paid occupation has changed from working in industry, being a student at Theological College, being ordained and finally working in the church. However, my vocation has never changed; I am a child of God looking to live out his Better Life every day wether I am in a paid occupation or not.
My ‘work’ may change – perhaps a new career, maternity leave, homemaker, full time carer, retired etc; we may have times in life when we have no paid work at all. However, we always have a Kingdom calling to fulfil. Your Kingdom workplace may well be chatting with others at the school gates, listening to a friend at a Toddlers or Dads Group, sharing your faith at the Seniors coffee morning or ramble. You see, disciples of Jesus are never left ‘unemployed’.
Knowing this distinction between ‘occupation’ and ‘vocation’ can be a great release and enable us to see sharing our faith as being a natural overflow of who I am (my vocation) rather than than a task I must fulfil (my religious duty). Witness at ‘work’ can be as simple as a friendly smile, a gentle encouragement, a genuine thank you, a get well soon card, a home baked cake – especially on a Monday morning – the first morning back after the weekend! Our workplaces can be the best place to share God’s love. Just imagine, if you weren’t there, who would bring the presence of heaven to your colleagues?
Again, a reminder from the Grow ‘Calling’ module
The church generally has lost confidence in its ability to witness; we have been told a lie that nobody wants to listen to our God story any more – it’s not true, people do want to listen! Tricia and I are Christians because someone told us their God story; a guy in my workplace and his wife became our friends and they witnessed to us – it works!
Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ.
Lord Jesus, thank you for my occupation – the gift of work; the opportunity to use my gifts and skills to, in some way, make a difference. Thank you for my vocation – my heavenly calling of being your child and sharing my faith through kindness. I rejoice in them both today. Amen.