Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mission in the Mess

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Colossians 3:23, NIV 1984).

John Denver put it well, "Some days are diamonds; some days are stones."
There have been many days that I have come to work when there is a pleasant patient in every spot, I finish on time, make it to my daughter's gymnastic event and my spouse seems to be still in love with me.
Then there are other days, like last Tuesday, when I left for work with an unhappy spouse, found my schedule to be double booked the whole day, had a patient crash at the hospital when I was an hour behind in the clinic, held my mouth open as my favorite nurse gave me her two-week notice and then felt the room squeezing in as a sheriff showed up at the office window with a malpractice notice.
"Some days are diamonds and some days are stones."

Some days we praise God for the blessing of our work. Other days, which may prolong into weeks or months, our work life may feel like Dick Swenson described it in his book The Overload Syndrome, "It's like somebody took the lid off the blender of my life, and the stuff on the walls is not a mirage!"
Sometimes the weight of our work weighs heavy long enough for us to lose our joy and question God's mission within the work He has given us.
If these times of joyless chaos or unrelenting burden come to stay awhile, how do I find God's mission in my mess?

A few suggestions:
  1. Be as certain as possible that I am in the place and doing the job that God has chosen for me.
  2. Realize that God gave me this work and it is the mission field to which He has called me.
  3. Realize that the work He has chosen for me will not necessarily make me rich or appreciated or comfortable or always happy.
  4. Give the job to God each day.
  5. Focus where God would have me focus each day: do the best job possible, and, within that job, live out in my life, as closely as possible, the character of God.
  6. Attempt to reach beyond the mundane and seek a spiritual dimension within my work, so that people may obtain a lasting benefit from my being here.

Dear Father,
This is the work you have given me. Until you ask me to change it, let me work with you with joy enough to accomplish the mission you have handed me.

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