Sorry for being MIA. Life has been fairly busy recently. But, to catch you up, I am no longer jobless! I have accepted a job as a vertical marketing specialist at a company called Dude Solutions. I know. What a name, right? But, Dude is no joke. They have been around since 1999, have around 400 employees in their Cary office, and has been voted as both one of the best places to work and one of the fastest growing companies in NC last year. Dude is a cloud-based operations and facility management software company. I’m so excited to start May 17th and if you have any connections over there, please shoot them my way!
Also, my time at the Raleigh Fellows Program is nearly over. My last day as a fellow is May 13th. Nuts. Time has flown by and I just want to thank you all so very much. Without you and your prayer and financial support, I know and believe I wouldn’t have grown the way that I did this year. With that being said, I want to send you off with one more witty, insightful and, hopefully, clever update. It is the least I can do. Literally.
Alright, story time. A man by the name of Steve Garber was telling a story at a conference I was at recently. Steve oversees an organization called, The Washington Institute: Connecting Faith, Vocation, and Culture. He started off telling us that he had just recently started gathering a small group at a nearby college that had a famous robotics program. All the guys he was gathering with were Christians and were working on their graduate degrees there. They would meet up in the robotics lab each Wednesday night and have discussions on several different things: scripture, culture, vocation, science, and how all are intertwined. One such Wednesday night, they were talking about robotics in our culture nowadays. Steve was leading the discussion and heard the door open behind him. He was in the middle of a sentence and concluded his thought a minute or so later. However, when he turned around to see who was there, he saw no one there. A few days went by and Steve met an Australian pastor who was on a sabbatical and was going to be in the area the next couple of months. When the man was asking Steve about local believers, Steve invited the man to join his group on Wednesday nights. They talked back and forth for a little and they came to discuss the location and occurrence of the meetings. Steve then confirmed that they met every Wednesday in the robotics lab on campus. The man then asked, “Were you all meeting up last Wednesday? I walked in on a group of 10 guys last week talking about robotics so which lab should I come to?”
Now, for some of you all reading, this is not a big deal at all. “Of course the pastor was weary! They were a group of Christians talking about robotics during small group.” However, my question is why is that so taboo? Why is a group of Christian, graduate robotic students who are discussing robotics in a robotics lab not acceptable? See, the point that Steve was making is that we as Christians have made our vocation and Christian walks as a make-shift dualism, if you will. Why waste time talking about robotics when you could be studying scripture and praying?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not diminishing either scripture or prayer. Scripture is God’s word and insurmountably important in a Christian’s life. And prayer is a gift from God that allows us to freely communicate with the maker of the universe. However, what I am doing is pointing out this dualism that several us believe, me included. That Jesus is not found in the hours of 8:00-5:00 Monday through Friday. How can that be true? See the reality is that most of us spend 45+ hours at our jobs a week. That is more time than you spend with your spouse and kids. It is more time than you spend at church and small group combined. More time than you spend sleeping some weeks.
You see, I find it crazy how we treat our jobs as a “necessary evil” instead of a way to live out our calling. From the beginning God created us in his image. God created and so do we. God worked and so do we. God rested and so shall we. And, the thing is, work was created before the fall. Therefore, it is inherently good and part of our nature. There is a reason that we as humans need a vocation beyond a paycheck. It is hardwired into our DNA.
You see, I have found myself being 100% confident that Jesus cares about my work and what I do at my job – however small or meaningless in my eyes. That when I do good work, He is glorified. That when I feel life is ordinary and monotonous, Jesus is working. That the work I am doing is bringing about redemption in our fallen world.
Another story from Steve: a man named Frans opened a burger joint. Him and his wife had been Christians for many decades then. His burger joint had become well-known as the best place in all the state to get a burger. His restaurant had received award after award for their food. One day, he was approached by some out-of-town guests who knew his story of faith. They asked, “why don’t you have any crosses hanging up? Or anything representing Jesus? How are we sure in your faith?” Frans took a second and replied similarly to Jesus does in the gospels, “Those who have taste buds, let them taste.” You see what he is saying!? You see, Frans had told Steve some time ago that he felt his call was to make burgers “the way they ought to be made”. How profound. To go about ordinary things as if unto to the Lord.
This brings me to my final thought: my work matters. That I have been equipped with skills and gifts that help me in my work. That my work is a part of His work. That my story is a part of the big story. That my faith in Jesus gives meaning to my entire life. Not just on Sundays or small group nights. But rather every day. That a belief in Jesus must create a seamless life. That a group of Christians talking about robotics in a robotics lab is glorifying. That a man making burgers the way they ought to be made is glorifying. That a guy doing marketing for a company called Dude Solutions is glorifying.
So now my question is how might you take part in doing something the “way it ought to be done?”
Thanks for the ride and reading these updates friends.