by Melanie Wai
Do you remember your very first job? One that actually paid you money…and I don’t mean mom or dad giving you some cash for cleaning your room. I mean one that Uncle Sam had his hand in, if you know what I mean. Mine was at Crystal’s Pizza and Spaghetti. I bussed tables and worked the salad bar.
I hated it.
I think I was either a sophomore or a junior in high school at the time and in DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America). One of the requirements for being in DECA was having a job. I only lasted few months (at the job I mean, not in DECA). My heart just wasn’t in it. Bussing tables wasn’t all that bad, but when my boss put me on the salad bar…well. Let’s just say I got tired real quick of picking out little slivers of shredded carrot from in between the food wells.
This of course is a far cry from what my profession is now. Although it was a good experience, the restaurant business is not something I would have chosen to do for a living. And as a high school student you’re pretty much focused on one thing. Getting money in your pocket…because you’re probably saving up for something, or you just want to spend it. A car, a stereo, some clothes, college, whatever. The goal and purpose of the job is for the money so you could use it on yourself, right? That’s what almost any high schooler will tell you anyway.
But as adults, we should have a higher purpose in our professions. A higher calling if you will. What we do for a living is how we can make God’s name great. It can be our platform, our vehicle, our tool. And we must be careful not to lose sight of why He gave us the job in the first place.
The venture with Jesus is all about living a sent life! From the beginning, it has always been God’s idea to have people represent Him by being dispersed (sent) all across the earth. God intentionally and strategically sends men and women into every domain of society (family, education, business, government, arts/entertainment, media, religion/belief systems) to represent Him.
Did you know you’ve been strategically placed by God where you work? Your job is your calling. We bear God’s image every day where we work. So it’s extremely important to get up everyday with an intentional purpose. It should change how we see things when we’re in the car on the way, when we walk into the building, as we encounter each co-worker. We need to have influence at our jobs. And for that we must build relationships. And building relationships takes intention. It takes effort. It takes time.
It takes love.
I have to be honest with you. As I write this, sitting on my couch with my laptop on my lap, I am having a moment! God is using this very moment to change me and how I view my job.
Because I had an interview today.
An interview that would have let me start fresh at a new place. And a wonderful opportunity finally came. But God is showing me that this is a price He does not want me to pay. I would have to start over with relationships that I have already built where I am. I would have to start over with influence that I have already built where I am. But He allowed me to go through the process just so I could see what the cost would be if I left.
And He’s right.
And so instead of giving me a fresh start, He gave me fresh eyes. Eyes that see hope and needs and potential and joy!
Eyes that see people that need Him.
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