The group. I'm the one wearing the Long Beach (49) shirt ;)
So last weekend I went to Camp Ghetto Camp with SOMA, the college group at Rocky Peak. I said to a couple of you and in an earlier blog entry that I'd been reflecting on all the work that I'd done over the past year or so: specifically physical labor like on the Navs Road Rally, Spring Break Trip, STP, my job over the summer, and then this camp. In my quiet time with God lately I'd been asking Him to teach me what he wanted me to learn.
Boy did I get an answer.
Jammin with Apollo and Amy during some free time Saturday night
Friday night I was having my quiet time because I just hadn't gotten to it earlier in the day. I was getting to the end of my routine (a psalm and then whatever else i'm reading: currently it's Galatians) when I decided to do a bit more than usual-I had the time and was looking for God to speak to me. What better way than to read the Word?
I looked over the table of contents in my Bible, hoping for a bit of inspiration on where to go next. For some reason Haggai jumped out at me.
"Haggai?" I asked, directing my question upward. "Really?"
The Complaining Hat. If you complained, you wore it.
I mentally shrugged my shoulders and flipped to the page. Haggai is only two chapters but the message was crystal clear: God was talking to me about my work.
A VERY abbreviated summary (that's right, an abbreviated summary) of the book goes like this: the people of Judah are supposed to rebuild the temple after returning from captivity. However, they aren't doing it. God says in chapter one:
"The people say, 'The time has not yet come for the LORD's house to be built'...Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" (1:2, 4)
After calling them out, God speaks what becomes a refrain throughout the book: "Give careful thought to your ways." (1:5)
He then encourages them to work for Him, and not themselves. He encourages Zerubbabel, their leader, and Joshua, their high priest. Then he says to the people:
"Be strong, all you people of the land...and work. For I am with you," declares the LORD Almighty. (2:4b)
As I reflected on what God was saying, I evaluated all the work I'd done over the past few months. Who was it for? It was pretty easy to say honestly that the work I'd done on Navs trips and the camp I was at was work I was doing for God. I wouldn't have gone on those trips if not for the opportunity to serve and be an extension of God in various people's lives. But my job...I got stuck there.
You see, even though I do almost the same exact sort of work at my job as I did on all these trips with different ministries, my motivation was/is completely different. On the trips, I paid money to go work. At my job, I work for money. The first set of work was others-focused. The work I did at my job was all about me, me, me.
Why? I couldn't come up with a single answer aside from selfishness. I want things so I work in order to receive money. I build my own house and install nice paneled walls, all the while neglecting the Lord's house. Now this isn't to say that you can't hold a job and glorify God at the same time. i have no plans on quitting early before going back to school. However, my attitude and ultimately my motivation whilst working needed some adjusting.
It was a humbling message to receive [as they so often are :) ]. But I came out of it determined to work for God's glory, and not mine, no matter where or in what circumstances I'm working.