Saturday, May 06, 2017

Our daily work (and god's dream)

As I mentioned yesterday I have recently finished Trevor Hudson's great little book 'Beyond Loneliness.' One chapter that really stuck out to me was chapter 5 on "Looking Outward Together." He says on p. 64:
"From the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus' life and message revolve totally around God's dream for the world. In language familiar to first-century Jews, Jesus calls this dream, "the kingdom of God." God's kingdom is where God rules and reigns, where God's will is done, and where what God wants to happen really does happen. Wherever Jesus goes, he makes that dream a reality. He lives out God's dream and calls every man and woman and child to join him."

I like that idea of God's dream as the kingdom reality. I also like how Trevor used that to transition into the role of our daily work. Our work isn't just as a means of supporting ourselves financially. As he says on p. 68:
"When we enter into the divine friendship, we don't have to become monks or nuns or ordained ministers in order to work with God. Rather, we can recognize our daily work as the primary opportunity to partner with God in making God's dream for this world a reality."

On p. 69 he continues with this, and I'm just going to include a couple paragraphs from there:
"What does it mean to see our places of employment as a chance to partner with God? Here are some basic thoughts. Work is the place where we learn how to love God and serve our neighbor. It is where we help to provide for the needs - technical, commercial, mechanical, intellectual, and so on - of people in our community so that we can live together in harmony. It is indeed the primary place where we are learning how to do our daily work in cooperation with God and in the power of God. So while it is the place where we provide for ourselves and for our loved ones, it is also where we live out and extend God's dream for a world in which people can live in shalom - or well-being in the widest sense of the word.

When we don't envision our work as a way to fulfill God's dream, we drive a wedge between our daily lives and our journeys of faith. We develop a split-personality between those "spiritual" parts of our lives where we live with God and those "secular" parts where we live as though we are on our own. Moreover, we stop god's dream from becoming a greater reality in the place where we spend most of our waking hours. We each possess a unique way of extending God's kingdom to our workplaces, and God depends on our cooperation in this adventure."

There is a lot more I would like to include, and this was nothing new to me, but it was a great reminder of why I am struggling so at my own job. As I have stated many times, I like what I do, and I believe it is a needed service in our world today, but I am not comfortable taking advantage of people, deceiving people, or seeing it solely as a means of making more money.

So, I was glad I read this chapter when I did. I felt like it was a pretty clear statement to me, and has been followed up by others. I'm trying my best to remember that I am not worthless, and, in fact, I believe I have much to offer. It may just require a bit of change.