When I’m at business functions, I along with all of the other attendees are typically walking around with the “Hello, My Name Is” label stuck to my chest. The idea is that as I shake hands with new people I can glance down and say, “Nice to meet you, uh, Bob!”
Nine times out of ten, after the initial introduction is made the very next question people have for me is, “So, what do you do?” All of us usually give an answer related to our jobs: I’m a pastor, I’m a graphic designer, I’m a teacher, I’m a blogger, etc. Yes, that’s what you do; that’s your job. But what do you work at?
I’ve been thinking about this over the past couple of days. And what got me thinking were two “interruptions” to my job.
On Wednesday night I was teaching a Bible study. I was just getting to the pay-off—the part of the lesson where the attendees would really be challenged to apply the lesson to their real-life situations—when my lesson was interrupted. A friend had slipped out of his seat and was standing at the back. All of a sudden he was clutching his chest and saying, “I need help!” Immediately my lesson stopped, I was at his side trying to recall some of my medical training, and then asking someone to call 911.
I didn’t finish my “job” on Wednesday evening, but I did my work as a friend.
Today I had planned to devote the better part of my day to preparing a message for Sunday morning. It’s my “job” as a pastor to come to church prepared with a timely, relevant message. But after talking with a friend on the phone, I could hear the heavy despondency in his voice, and I knew I needed to go see him face-to-face.
I put my job on hold to go do my work as a friend.
Bill Hybels wrote, “Keep the ‘church’ in church work.” My work—as a member of the Church, as a friend—should always trump my “job.”
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
At the end of my life, I don’t think God is going to ask me how good my sermons were. But He is going to ask me how well I did my work as His servant.
Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me. … I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!” (Matthew 25:34-36, 40).
How’s your work going today?