Like a Punch in the Faith…
So… is it more like a “punch in the face” or a “punch in the faith”??? Right now the jury is still out as I work through the latest in a string of transitions for our life in Olympia, WA. What am I talking about? Actually, I’m talking about “punching a clock face on faith…” meh. Or, something like that… All kidding aside, I started a new job today. Laurie started hers last week. With both of us in our (whispers…) “forties,” it feels a little odd starting over again. I think it was especially odd feeling for me when I was clearly one of the oldest people in the room; there was definitely a generational divide. Much to my joy, there didn’t seem to be any notice of this from the other “newbies” in my training class.
What does this have to do with faith? Everything… I think. Can I take a minute to explain? Okay, bear with me a minute.
Me = first day at work. I’m a growing (ever so gracefully) older man entering a young-adult-entry-level customer service job. My first inclination is to say; “Self, what in the world are you doing here?” I look around and begin to feel scared and/or sorry for myself. I begin to fantasize about doing anything but what I’m doing at the moment. I start to project forward in time to when I am no longer doing the work I’m doing, but something more gratifying and satisfying. Then I remember why I am where I am… Faith. Faith brought me to where I am. Following Jesus brought me to Olympia. Part of Olympia is my willingness to say “yes” to God and trust His leading and His provision. Part of His provision is through my new employer. My obedience to God translates to my becoming a blessing to my employer; all of the sudden the paradigm of my predicament flip-flops and turns from destination depression to divine direction. And that’s how it happens; being led by the Spirit.
It is all too easy to follow the path of self. We do it all the time; protecting self, defending self, boasting self, exalting self, feeding self…self, self, self. However, the journey of following Jesus is about self denial and that presupposes that one scenario will exclude the other. Self cannot follow Jesus; He said so (Luke 14:25-27 and Matthew 16:24). So anyway, pushing self aside and listening instead to the Spirit we find our way to purpose and living in harmony with God. We find our way to unity with the Spirit and advancement of God’s Kingdom and His divine Purpose. And, this is where my day ended… Joyfully exuberant that God would see me feeling as though I were “punched in the face” and reminding me that I was practicing a punch in my faith. So, when I “punch my clock” each morning at my God given new job… I’ll delightfully remember that He brought me to where I am and He’ll teach me, guide me, and use me in the purposes of His choosing all for His glory. I’ll remember to leave self at home.