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A reality-check while on the job

| by Daniel Mack

We were in a rural part of Pignon, Haiti. The day was almost done and the team wrapped up. We went there to gather stories and the scene I observed said more to me than anything else we had experienced that day. A young man sat in front of me on a pile of rocks making gravel. He wasn’t running a big machine or wearing a hard hat. All he had was a hammer and the strength God gave him. I was taken aback.

How many times had I complained about some insignificant work-related incident? On my worst day, had my office chair ever been so uncomfortable? What reason did I have to wish for better circumstances?

You’ve heard it before: our world is sheltered. It’s not realistic. But hearing something isn’t the same as seeing it for yourself. Looking at his tattered jeans and dust-stained hands, I felt embarrassed. “Privileged,” that’s the word that came to mind. 

As any good communications team member at Hungry for Life, I stopped and took a photo. That was my job. He smiled and we went on our way.

At Hungry For Life, we strive to tilt the scale back toward justice. I also know that the community this young man lives in has been changed because of many who volunteer their time, energy and money. However, that doesn’t mean I am above learning from his situation.

God said, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23–24 ESV).

As much as we hope to change the physical poverty in this world, we have a vision to see spiritual change as well. In the future, when I read that verse, I will always picture this man. My attitude toward work, as well as all other avenues of life, must center on the Lord. 

These verses come from a theologically-packed section of the Bible. In context, they describe how our daily lives are meant to reflect Jesus—not in the miraculous, but in the ordinary. In other words, finding Jesus when you’re doing laundry, writing a report or even if you’re smashing rocks.

The task isn’t the subject that should matter to us. Your job isn’t God’s primary concern—neither is your salary. He doesn’t rank His children based on their health and dental packages. You know what God cares about? Who you work for.

I’m not talking about the company where you work and I’m not even talking about the people you provide for. I’m talking about making God the primary motivator for your entire life — including work. When that becomes your reality, your circumstances won’t matter so much.

Photo source: istock 

Daniel Mack

Rev. Daniel Mack is a graduate of Summit Pacific Bible College with a Bachelor of Theology. He also holds a Masters of Theological Studies in Christian Foundations from Tyndale University College & Seminary. Dan works with Hungry For Life International where he has been part of their relief and development efforts in Kenya and Haiti.

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