Does what we do even matter?
I’ve been pondering that a lot these last few weeks.
This month’s Revival theme, Work, is impressively on point at my house.
In one week, I’m starting a new job at the Wisconsin State Journal, the first time since 2013 that I’ll be working full-time outside the home.
It’s a big change, and before accepting the position, I mulled over whether it’s the right one.
Does what we do even matter?
We know that Jesus’s guidance for our lives isn’t situational: “Show mercy”, “Go and make disciples of all nations”, “Love one another as I have loved you,” etc.
We can do that as stay-at-home parents, working parents, students, retirees, newlyweds, divorcees …
So, as long as we’re following how Jesus commands, does what we do even matter?
I think it must.
If what we do didn’t matter, all of us would all be interchangeable. I could live your life. You could live mine. I could work at the State Journal or stay home. You could live in Fitchburg or Florida.
The Bible tells us, though:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
“Plan” and “purpose” indicate a path – one chosen specifically for us, for which God has prepared us.
Therefore, what we do with our lives, the choices we make, is as important as how we do it.
That could be stressful (“So, you’re telling me that not only do I have to figure out what God wants me to do, but I have to figure out how to do it in the way He commands?!?”)
But I find it comforting.
God’s will for us is a constant presence, a heartbeat that remains steady throughout the emotional rollercoaster of our lives.
We’re going to make bad choices. We’re going to make wrong moves. We’re going to get lost in the wilderness.
But God’s path for us is immobile, and His Word always guides us back, like a GPS that never loses signal.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all our ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
How blessed we are to have Jesus as our guide, to be our steadying breath, our hand to hold, our shoulder to lean on, through everything, cradle to grave.
Our lives change. God doesn’t.
Believing that gives us the certainty we need to take new jobs and move to new cities – or even to stay right where we are, knowing it’s where God wants us to be.
God’s unwavering presence and support gives us the courage to do His work, whatever that work turns out to be.
We tend to define “work” as the thing we do to earn the money to pay the bills.
But our life’s work, God’s work, is this:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
That’s a pretty great gig.