Rediscovering Community: Whatever You DoBlog / Produced by The High Calling
"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” Colossians 3:23
I make my way down the stairs, heavy bag slipping off my shoulders and cast myself into the sea of voices. I dodge bleary-eyed people like myself intent on one of two things, coffee or food. The great migration of mammals to those canisters filled with magic to wake the senses, spark the brain to life.
I pause by the fruit bins, the fresh offerings they give us to entice us to eat better, to be healthier so we can feel better so we can work harder. I pause, my phone at the ready, wanting to capture it all, this teeming life that flows down around my ears right now.
I hear the opening strains of Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams” and for just one moment, with the backdrop of voices and back slapping and greeting, I feel like life is pulsating around me. And though it’s so close, I feel I am standing on the shore. Not quite in. Not quite out. What would it feel like to feel fully in? Here.
All in like poker.
What would it be like to be fully engaged?
I wander, looking at angles, how I would photograph the fruit bins, the sign hand scrawled suggestions. The cafe workers, everyone else. This wondering and wandering is part of what makes me, me. All I want is to go back to my station and write…of this life.
I make my way to the coffee and wonder why it is that donuts always look so much better than fruit. I window shop and watch plates sailing by. Breakfast burritos, pastries, plate piled high with eggs, bacon and English muffins. I take nothing, remembering the banana I brought and the cottage cheese waiting in the sack I so hastily threw together this morning.
Still, I watch, I observe. I wonder.
How it would feel to be fully engaged? Here.
If I were here to take pictures, or talk about writing or my faith how easy it would be. Oh, I am engaged. I am here, I am early, I am ready to work. People on the other end of the phone tell me they am glad I am here. I sense their confidence in me…Still.
To be fully engaged is: eyes wide open, pulse quickening, fully focused, doing the thing God created you to do engaged.
For 18 years I have been less than fully engaged and that makes me wonder who or what I have robbed.
What if everyone loved their job?
When I was back home I said, “I wonder what kind of world it would be if everyone loved their jobs?” My Dad said, “I wonder how it would be if people just wanted to work?” Maybe he’s right. People didn’t think about liking their jobs in his day. They just got up and went to work no matter what, to support their families.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe I think too much. Maybe we all do.
And yet, at this job at which I am less than fully engaged, there are people God has wanted me to impact, and people God wanted to impact me. Lives colliding not by accident but by Divine Appointment. He has held me here for a purpose, that I know. And this job has stretched me in ways nothing else could.
It has thrown me out of my comfort zone over and over again, so that I had no choice but to depend on Him.
And in these 18 years of twelve hour days I have carved out a livelihood, a gift God has set before me. And in those 12 hours of each day I get two hours to do what I want. Who else has that?
And somewhere, sometime, God will show me what my real job was here. And it will have nothing to do with building computer chips. It will have everything to do with contributing to people and building a kingdom.
Online community is a real thing. Isn’t it? Maybe it depends on whom you talk to. How important is it to spend time with someone face-to-face? Can you build meaningful and lasting relationships online? Where do you find your most significant interactions, and how do you make time for them? Jesus focused on building his deepest relationships with three of his disciples while he walked the earth. What can we learn about community from Christ’s example, and how do we translate his example to the digital age? In this theme, we are Rediscovering Community in old-fashioned and new-fangled ways. We’ll celebrate the gift of relationship while exploring ways to build community in the modern age. Join us!
Photo by Diane Bailey. Design by Jennifer Dukes Lee