Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Advancing the Kingdom: Reflections on Work

Matthew 6:33
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

It's been a strange couple of weeks for me.  God told me "no" to a deep desire of mine, then almost immediately turned around and gave me a different position at the company I work for, moving me away from the front desk and the phone to HR.  I've been training the new girl and doing my own training and planning Marvel Movie Nights (yes, I've seen The Avengers and embarrassing number of times in theaters, don't judge me) and all the time wrestling.  I've been tired and stressed and praying for direction from the Lord.  My foundations are being shaken to no end as most of the things I hope to happen fall flat.  Nothing I've assumed God would "do for me" by now has come to fruition.  I have a passion for youth work but find myself exhausted at the end of the day and putting off serving them for my own personal time.  This often causes me to resent my day job.

But really I am doing kingdom work.

I've always had this understanding that if you do whatever it is you do for the glory of the Lord then you are doing kingdom work, but I'm not sure I've ever really believed it... or at least never applied it to me.  That may sound strange, but I've always thought I'd end up in vocational ministry because of my passion for it and so I always sort of viewed secular jobs as a means to an end; tent making; something to trudge through so I could go on with my life after the eight hours were over.

I've had the wrong attitude.

Sure, this job can support the youth work I do, but at the same time, I can do kingdom work all day long.  I can work to make communication between all of our offices go well to bring stress levels down, I can be organized so that my supervisors don't have to worry about employee records, I can be a listening ear when the office experiences heart ache, I can pray, and I can always be a friend.   This is kingdom work: showing God's love to people, doing a job well no matter what that job is, seeking to honor those made in His image even when they are having a grumpy day and don't quite respond the way I might want.

My feelings may not follow as quickly as I'd like them to, but viewing my work as His work, seeking to serve Him by serving others will eventually change my attitude and ultimately please Him.  I know I can do this because I'm not having to fight for His affection.  He's already blessed me with that, with His love, and He has promised to do what is best for me.  I am so thankful that His plans are better than mine and that even tasks that might seem menial can have eternal meaning if done well and for His glory.

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