Throughout this term I’ve been thinking about what lies ahead. And while my last post dealt with letting God steer me to where He wants me to be, there’s a different point of emphasis I have with this one.
In thinking of where I’ll be in the future – or rather, where I’d like to be – I’ve usually assumed one thing: I don’t want to be making pizzas for the rest of my life. There’s nothing wrong with making pizzas or working at a pizza place, though; I wouldn’t be working my sixth year at a pizza place if I found something wrong with it all. But what I personally dislike about this type of job is that it has a limited level of responsibility. Simply put: I want the work I produce to matter more than merely providing families with their pizzas.
Again, I love my job for this stage in my life. Given the random songs we created tonight alone, I know that I could not have asked for a better job. But yet I find my job right now to be temporal – a stepping stone along the path God’s leading me down. It’s easy, though, to let my ego get in the way of finding a job with more responsibility.
In American society, it might actually seem really odd for a man with two or three PhDs working at a place I work. Why? Well, I think we’d probably think that person was over-qualified for that job. We would probably advise that they search for something more attuned to their professions. And yet, though I’ve tried, I can’t line this American ideal up with the teachings of Jesus.
With all of Jesus’ talks of being great by being a servant to others, I can’t help but conclude that when we come to Jesus, there is no job beneath us. There is no such thing as being “over-qualified” when it comes to following God. I don’t think a person with three PhDs should be applying for a job as a cook at Putters; it’d simply be wise for that person to find something much more suitable to him – something that utilizes his expertise. But I find it to be a worldly mindset when telling that person to apply somewhere else because he’s just too good for our kitchen.
That being said, I think it’s essential to point out that God does not favor laziness. Proverbs is specifically clear about this issue. God wants us to be ambitious about stuff; that’s why He gave us passions and desires and interests. He does His work when we’re doing what we love – even on the days when we don’t necessarily feel like doing it. Do I love making pizzas? Yes, but there are other things that I love to do more than make pizzas; I love to read and write. I can’t quite think of what jobs revolve around simply those two things, but I’m hoping there’s something out there. If not, well I’ll make a job with those two components. In the meantime, however, there is an important lesson God’s given me within the last couple days; a message I think is a needed reminder to the other menial-job employees out there.
Shortly after His parable of the dishonest manager, Jesus says to His disciples, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much,” (Luke 16:10). I cannot find a more applicable verse for my life at this time. Jesus says to be faithful and honest with the “menial” jobs. We have these jobs for a reason and to abandon them because we’re tired of being “over-qualified” is to neglect the work God has called us to do.
Now granted, it may happen that moments after attaining a menial job, one receives a call up to the big leagues. If that happens, then great. But what I’m getting at here is what one’s attitude is going into those jobs. If it’s expecting to rise quickly up the corporate ladder because that’s our plan for our lives, then it might not pan out so well. But if it’s us being excited about the “menial” jobs when we get them and remaining dedicated to working hard and working well, then we will prove – if not only to ourselves – that we did the work God called us to.
As I said before, I love my job. I want a new one rather soon, but I like where I’m at now. And while I’m there, I find it to be God’s desire – maybe even commandment – to work as hard as I can and as well as I can, not to gain notoriety for myself, but to honor God with the platforms He’s given me. Finally, if nothing else, my conscience will be clear knowing that I gave it my all at this job.
God wants good things for us. But He needs for us to be okay with accepting the low social status. He needs us to be okay with our lives not being about ourselves. He needs us to be okay with sacrificing everything we have as if it wasn’t enough, so that our lives will be completely about Him.