On Tuesday I had the opportunity to talk at an event called “Does Your Job Matter?” It was about the importance of not separating your life into distinct faith and work categories, but to live more holistically. Here’s the first of three posts, recapping what I talked about:
Back in July, right in the middle of the DC "Beltway Meltaway" our air conditioner stopped working. It prompted me to research this trusty technology we call the air conditioner. I found an article in the Atlantic that said air conditioning was the "invention that created the future" - without it, modern day movie theaters, computers and the Sunbelt states wouldn't have had a chance.
Where did it come from? With one of those computer running on my lap, I read about a guy named Michael Faraday, an English Chemist and Physicist whose experiments and inventions formed the foundation of modern electromagnetic technology, and compressor technology used to chill air, and the electric motor.
Michael Faraday was a devout follower of Christ.
What does that have to do with tonight's topic: "Is the work we're doing important? Does your job matter?"
I, for one, am thankful that a believer used his God given talents to further scientific discovery. His work was important, and so is yours.
I didn't always realize that. I "grew up" as a Christian in a campus ministry that had the stated purpose of impacting tomorrow’s world leaders for Christ, but operated in a way that implied the most devoted of God's followers should go into full-time ministry. You hear a similar view in some churches – certain people are "called" to full-time ministry. The rest of us can support those who are called with our paychecks and prayer but aren't on the front-lines, living for God. Often when sermon illustrations talk about people who’ve dedicated their lives to God, they talk about full-time missionaries, or people who’ve gone on staff with a church.
I want to live for God, but I have a hard time seeing myself in those stories. Do the sermon illustrations mean God doesn't need people out in the world as much as he needs pastors in the church? Does God only “call” people to ministry? We often think our calling is the spiritual part of life and work is the secular. But what if God has called you to the “secular?”