by Agent Kevin Miller
Or does He just want us to serve Him by
Providing our families with food, clothes, shelter and the basic necessities?
Going to church on Sunday
Being ‘good’, not getting drunk, cussing, cheating or lying
Giving a bit of money to charity
Being the ‘nice person’ at work
…and enjoying our work is really pretty selfish? It’s most honorable to serve joyfully and diligently wherever we are, even if the work pays poorly, fits us poorly, serves it’s customers poorly and is managed poorly…right?
But then again, there are all those scriptures about ‘talents’ and ‘gifts’ that are specific to each person. Hmmm..that throws a bit of a wrench into things.
Let’s look at some literal people:
Do you think she really liked kids? Do you think that secretly they drove her mad and she really longed for nice job without all the whining and bad smells and abuse and neglect? She sure didn’t look well rested and vibrant, eh? Or, do you think serving kids was her heart and she couldn’t help but do it?
Do you think he secretly had stage fright and anxiety attacks and hated being up in front of millions of people? It was simply his cross to bear and that made him even holier? Or…did God groom him to do that and speaking and leading was the natural desire in his heart and he was incredibly fulfilled to live out his talents and gifts?
Zig was one of the most successful men to be applauded by secular and faith audiences. He used his platform of business and sales success to influence people for God. You think he liked selling and speaking and writing? HE’S MID 80s, WEALTHY AND STILL DOING ALL THOSE THINGS. Do you think he’d have been more holy if he snubbed his natural born tendencies and eeked out the life of a martyr feeding the homeless in anonymoty or working in a cubicle and kept a low profile, therefore castrating his ego?
Honorable Mentions: they may not have served the world for humanitarian causes, but do we believe they would have been better off denying their natural tendencies, or was it good they pursued their passions?
Michael Jordon (loves basketball), Bill Gates (loves computers), Celine Dion (loves singing, and fan or not, that chick was born to sing) and keep on naming folks that we’d agree were ‘born’ to do certain things and did them to amazing degrees.
Or is my analogy pointless because in reality those people were special…God’s favored. And the rest of us are just ugly stepchildren? No great talents and just here to hopefully boost the economy by spending the money we earn doing what we hate, to buy crap we don’t need so we look good to people we don’t even like?
Here is an incredible entry by bestselling author and theologian Frederick Buechner in his book, ‘Wishful Thinking‘:
It comes from the Latin vocare, to call, and means the work a man [or woman] is called to by God.
There are all different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work, and the problem is to find out which is the voice of God rather than of Society, say, or the Super-ego, or Self-Interest.
By and large a good rule for finding out is this. The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. If you really get a kick out of your work, you’ve presumably met requirement (a), but if your work is writing TV deodorant commercials, the chances are you’ve missed requirement (b). On the other hand, if your work is being a doctor in a leper colony, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you’re bored and depressed by it, the chances are you have not only bypassed (a) but probably aren’t helping your patients much either.
Neither the hair short no the soft berth will do. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
That last line is quoted a lot, but it’s pithy and nobody takes it to heart. So the question comes back to Theresa, Billy, Zig and everyone else who dramatically impacted the world doing what they longed to do. Were they…
A bunch of narcissistic radicals who at least put their egos to a good purpose, but would have shown their holy stripes better by denying their personal desires and suffering along with the rest of us doing work that sucks and making sure their savings account was growing and secure, OR
People who were in truth, fully seeking God. Knowing how they were gifted and talented and putting that to full-tilt use for the Lord and rattling the earth’s core with the results?
Which one are you buying into today in your own life? And who is master…God, or security (mammon)?
NOTE: Are you in a bad spot financially and took any job you could in order to feed your family? Then I applaud you. You rock, cause letting them go hungry is inexcusable. I should know, I about did that to my family. Do what you have to do. For a time. As short as possible. And in every single spare second, devote yourself fully to finding where you are gifted and an opportunity to work in that capacity as soon as humanly possible. 3 months is probably sufficient. Beyond that…you’re giving in. Don’t. We need you. All of you.
Here is the show we did on this topic, about 35 people tuned in. I read this post and expounded a bit, then read the comments thus far and discussed them. Then…I spent about 20 minutes answering various open-forum questions on free agency. I hope you find value:
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