What if your ‘job’ is simply to be loved? And to love others with that same love? I have Covid at the moment – in fact, the whole family does. I have been propped up with antibody tablets because of my general health and I am thankfully doing well (family is ok too). But I am also using the time to try and look for a new job.
My freelance work has dried up and Universal Credit isn’t enough to keep three kids. So I am trying to find work right now, that would suit me. I don’t know if you have been in that situation before. I was first unemployed some 20 years ago. I remember walking into a job centre, sitting down and thinking, ‘No, it can’t have come to this’. I walked straight out. The next day, with no money, I was back and signed up to Jobseeker’s Allowance. I was given something like £79 per week. I gave £77 to my mum for lodging and kept £2 for my weekly coffee.
It’s hard, isn’t it? I really hate job application forms too. All those questions about your background and experiences. False scenarios then given in interviews if you’re invited (unless you get the doom-and-gloom ‘we’ll keep your details on file’ letter. Do they really…?). I would rather an employer invited me to the pub and got to know me personally. Or set me some real work, to see if I can do it. The irony is that even when we find work, even if you enjoy it, there’s a tedium with the daily monotony of staring at a computer screen. I’ve always been a dreamer. I’m far happier staring at waves crashing on a beach, or looking up at sunlight coming through leaves on a tree, or watching my wife playing ‘chase’ with our children. Times when I can draw aside and spend time in God’s presence. I live for that. I really do.
What ‘job’ does God want us to do? It’s an interesting question. Read the Bible and you see all sorts of occupations: shepherds, fishermen, builders; and then what seems to be more reverent roles: prophets, church pastors, leaders of nations. In a practical sense, I guess we need to make the most of any opportunity. At the same time (and this is THE thing) we must always prioritise our calling over and above our work. And that calling is simple: know you are really, really, really loved by God and love him dearly for himself, in return. Then share that largeness of heart with others, helping them in any way you can. If there’s a character who really epitomises this, surely it is Enoch. Not a lot is written about him and, to be honest, I don’t think he cared about that. He just cared about God: “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”
Love God. I mean really, really, really love God. That’s all!
Father God, I breathe freely when I sense your hands holding me. I can find life on Earth perplexing as I try to work things out. Help me not to compare myself to the success of others. I know my calling, regardless of my job. I know your love in my heart and my heart is yours alone. Empower me afresh each day to share that love – real love – with my family, friends, workmates, fellow unemployed mates, and anyone else who comes into my life. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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