Occasionally I see a question pop up. Perhaps I hear it in some conversation that I am having or overhear. Maybe it’s in a blog post, a tweet or a Facebook status. That part doesn’t really matter.
The question that I run across is this: Should I work for a faith-based company?
There are several variations of this that I hear. Should I enter ministry? Should I go to the mission field? Should I go to seminary and become a preacher?
Sometimes, though, I think there is another question at the heart of what many of them are asking.
Is what I am doing enough for the Lord?
I think many of us get on fire for Jesus and think we are wasting our lives away in our occupations. We think there is no Godly good in being a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker. We wonder if our lives amount to anything in the normal, ordinary drudgery of a “regular” job.
I know. I was there.
In 2001, I left a job that I had been at for almost five years. I had worked my way up in the company. I was on a path to success.
It wasn’t good enough. I had to be a preacher. I had to go to seminary. I just knew that I had to be a pastor.
So, I went to seminary. For one whole year, I went to seminary and took the classes. I did pretty well in school. I had the 8:00 a.m. Greek class. I took the theology classes. I learned church history.
I also worked three jobs. I worked at UPS sorting packages. I delivered newspapers. I worked at a running store. I killed myself for an entire school year.
Then I left. I couldn’t take it anymore. My family and I came home. I was burned completely out. It was the hardest year of my life.
Since then I have returned to my former employer. I have been fairly successful. I have also preached at a campground for a solid ten years. There are untold ministry opportunities within my church. The Lord is going to show those He has planned for me in His own time.
I don’t need to work for a faith-based company. I don’t have to. I simply need to work in the company and the church my faith in Christ leads me.
Is what I am doing enough for the Lord? Never. It never could be. It doesn’t have to be.
What He did on the cross is enough. Everything else is pure gravy.
Do you ever think you should work for a faith-based company? Or enter ministry? Have you considered you have been planted in the mission field God intended for you?
I’m not sure when you are reading today’s post. It may be early and I haven’t left for work yet. Maybe it’s mid-day and I am wrapping things up at work. Perhaps I’m on my way to Franklin, TN or on my way back to Dunn Holler.
It doesn’t matter.
Today is the day I Start.
I am part of Jon Acuff’s Start Launch Team. Start is Jon Acuff’s new book that releases today. I also happen to be going to Start Night where Jon will be presenting much of what is in the book. I look forward hearing about:
Punch Fear In The Face
We all fear something don’t we? Often it is fear that prevents us from starting….anything. Whatever our dream is, whether it’s becoming a public speaker, starting a business or writing a novel, fear likes to cuddle up to us and keep us comfortable. Starting is not comfortable. Once we start, though, is when we will find our reward.
Too many of us simply settle for average. We have average lives with average families and average jobs. Average wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t just average. Escaping average requires something. it means that we have to start.
Do Work That Matters
One of the worst indictments we may face is that we come to the end of our life and it simply didn’t matter. We have no made no impact on the world. We didn’t affect anyone else’s life or our community’s or, gasp, the world. Where will we find the beginning of the answer? When we start.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. That single step requires one thing. It requires us to start.
Are you ready to Start?
My friend, Jim Woods, has told me before that he was amazed that I can publish a blog post every day. It’s really not that hard, but it doesn’t really happen the way I wish it did.
If I had my druthers, I would get up every day and go for a run. I would come back, take a shower and drink some Diet Mountain Dew. Then I would go to my special writing place and knock out a couple of blog posts. I would schedule them and then write some other stuff for the remainder of the day.
That’s not how it happens.
Below you will see a picture I took at work. It is a list of blog ideas that I had one day at work. I was really focused on some work I had to do that day and suddenly the gates opened. Idea after idea after idea flowed. I started scribbling those ideas on this sheet of paper.
After that, I would kind of look at them and mull them over in my mind. I got rough ideas for what direction I wanted to go with each one. Then I just kind of sat down and wrote some.
Nothing special or magical. I just wrote.
A few of them came out completely different from what I originally intended. Some of them tend to take on a life of their own and they tell me how to write them. It’s an interesting process.
That’s how I work.
Oh yeah. I prayed. I asked the Lord to give me the words and use me. I pray He does.
If you are a blogger, how do you work?
I haven’t watched It’s A Wonderful Life. I plan to one night this week. It is a wonderful movie (how did you like that little play on the title?) that has become a standard and a classic. It’s a must see every Christmas season.
Hopefully you know the story of how George Bailey realizes what a difference he has made in people’s lives. That’s what it’s about, isn’t it? One man making a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
That’s what Christmas is all about, isn’t it?
One Man who came to earth. One Man who gave up the riches of heaven. One Man who obeyed. One Man who glorified His Father. One Man who made a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
What difference can you make can you make because of Christmas?
Can you make a difference with a blog?
Can you make a difference in your family?
Can you make a difference at work?
Can you make a difference with a friend?
Can you make a difference in the world?
What difference will you make?
Do you have a wonderful life?
I’ve been taking Mondays to talk about dreams. If you’ve noticed, I believe that for believers in Christ, our dreams come from God. So, once you believe that He has given you a dream, how do you make that dream a reality? I think something you need are anchors for those dreams. They will keep you grounded and not just float away in any direction with the dream. Below are the anchors I have for my dream(s). Yours may be different, but I hope that mine will give you some ideas.
- God and Christ. I don’t differentiate between these. I try to measure all of my dreams by what will honor and glorify God and His Son.
- Family. If my family can’t behind my dream, then I need to rethink it.
- Work. Unless my dream can take the place of my day job, I must give my all to my day job so I can pursue my dream.
- Church. I want to share my dream with those in my church so they can pray and support me.
- Finances. I must be a good steward of my finances so tha I can pursue my dream.
- Personal Growth. I will seek to grow in the area of my dream so that I can excel and pursue it with skill
- Time. It takes time to pursue a dream. I may have to sacrifice time for some things in order to pursue it.
- Health. I cannot pursue my dream to the detriment of my health.
- Recreation. Sometimes I need to take a break from my dream, in order to be more creative in pursuit of my dream.
Those are the anchors that I have established in order to pursue my dream. They are there to keep me and my dream from just drifting away. You may have others. Don’t limit yourself to mine.
Do you have anchors for your dreams? What are they?