My co-worker typically leaves work about a half-hour before I do and the other day, in the quietness, I was wondering about my vocation. I was thinking that had things turned out differently, I could be a systems administrator making twice what I currently make. Why am I doing this relatively easy hardware support stuff when I have the capacity
for so much more?
When I was in grade school I was labeled “gifted” and I remember to this day when our elementary school principal was administering an IQ test to me. She asked, “How many pounds are in a ton?” I replied, “A short ton or a long ton?” I could have been anything – a scientist, a politician, a lawyer, but instead of such things, I received so much more. I have
the privilege of being the husband of a beautiful woman named Marci and the father of three beautiful young boys. I have it all. The TV commercials promise this to viewers, but I’ve already attained it, and so much more. On top of all this, when God dragged me across the state from my hometown to live here in West Michigan some 13 years ago,
he placed me about 5 miles from a fantastic church where I am growing in grace and enjoying the fellowship of God’s covenant people. I could go on and on. He also answered a prayer that I used to pray when asking Him for a wife, something He made me wait until I was 35 years old to realize. He gave me an awesome mother and father-in-law and a beautiful extended family that is nothing short of awesome. God didn’t give me the things I desired when I wanted them, but He certainly delivered – in His good time.
Many of you are similarly situated. You have it all already, the problem lies in realizing what we have. It’s not real until you realize it. Once you do, all the pressure is off. You’re on top of the mountain. The striving and the jealousy of others can cease, for you have attained all that can be had in this life. The only thing left is to share it with others.
I believe that life takes the turns that God wants them to take in our lives. And then it dawned on me a bit. My prayer for the boys is that whatever they end up doing for a vocation when they’re older, I want them to glorify Christ and have a close relationship with Him. I don’t care if they don’t go to college or if they end up working as a plumber or
a scientist. I want them to spend eternity enjoying God and I want them to be there doing that with me and Marci. I guess it would be wrong for me to want more for my own life than I want for my kids. So I accept my lot in life and do the very best I can to do my work well and give thanks daily for the things I have been given.
It’s easy to envy others’ lives but with increased wealth often comes increased demands on our time, etc. Doctors, for example, make lots of money and are highly respected in our culture, but they have little time for the things I really value, like sitting and talking every
night with my boys before bed, or sitting out on the driveway in the summer evenings talking with my best friend Marci.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
I read today that Ted Turner, the billionaire founder of CNN, etc. was hospitalized for some reason. He’s gonna die some day soon and I certainly do not envy him, unless he repents and turns to Christ. He’s been a staunch enemy of Christ and His church most of his life. Yes, he is a billionaire, but none of that will help him whatsoever about 2 milliseconds after his body assumes room temperature. As things stand now, as far as I know, nothing but extreme disappointment awaits him and his VERY LONG future is anything but promising.
I believe we’ll all get the opportunity to work to our fullest potential in the life after the resurrection. Adam had a vocation prior to the Fall, so I think we’re safe to assume that we will work in heaven, but it won’t be anything like the drudgery and pain we deal with for 40 hours or more each week in this life. It will be beautiful and we’ll love going to work in God’s restored garden for eternity. Until then, we need to thankfully and eagerly do with our best skill and effort whatever it is that God has given us to do. If He gives us greater responsibilities, great. If He decides to give us less, great. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
You’re Going to Die (And So Might Your Dreams)
In Al Mohler’s book The Conviction to Lead he writes of
. . . an old preacher [who] told a group of younger preachers to remember that they would die. “They are going to put you in a box,” he said, “and put the box in the ground, and throw dirt on your face, and then go back to the church and eat potato salad.”
Here’s the point: As great as you can make yourself, as many wonderful things as you can accomplish in your lifetime — even religious things — it will all be a blip on the radar of eternity. You will become dust. The worms will eat you. Statistically speaking, since most of us will never accomplish such great things that history will laud throughout the ages, memory of us will start fading with our grandchildren. Our great grandchildren will (likely) not have any clue who we are.
There is the vision of greatness the redeemed of the Lord ought to aspire to. That he would increase and we would decrease. That our decrease would serve his increase!
And those who are willing to lose their lives — whatever that might mean — for Christ’s sake, will find them.
And from dust you will return.