I was driving into the sunrise this morning when I noticed brake lights ahead. A car had pulled off to the shoulder. I kept driving, as I always do. It didn’t even occur to me to see if I could help.
In one of the few stories of Jesus’ childhood, he talks about being about his father’s business (Luke 2). That idea popped into my head as I went along with my plan for my morning.
I realized how little I am about my heavenly father’s business.
My dad is a retired software consultant. I have a vague idea about what he did as work. (Something about…software? Business software? Something international, too?) For about twenty years of my life, my dad worked on this stuff and I have no idea what he was doing.
To be honest, it didn’t interest me. I was passionate about neither business nor software. (I’ll give him spreadsheets, though. I do like those.) I sort of orbited around his work. I benefited from his business in the form of money, but I didn’t feel any obligation to understand it or participate in it.
If I had understood its value to him, I might have done things differently. I could have sat down and tried to understand his work. I might even have been able to act as support staff, doing small tasks to free him up for larger ones. I could have been a part of the family business.
I didn’t, though, and I missed my chance. My dad’s business didn’t interest me. It didn’t serve my agenda of where I wanted my life to go. I was busy doing my own thing.
You see the connection, I’m sure. How much of this is playing out the same way in my relationship to God’s business?
I can’t really define what my dad did for work, so I couldn’t participate. So what is God’s business? God’s business is loving people. Are you participating in God’s business? Are you an employee filling coffee cups and supporting the bigwigs? Are you a volunteer helping to stuff envelopes? Are you constantly on the lookout for people who need your services?
Am I part-time, full-time, or occasional volunteer? When I look at my schedule, my money, my energy, how much of it is designated towards God’s business? Jesus said, “What a huge harvest!” I don’t naturally see the world as a market to do God’s business. It’s more of a market to do my own. And anyway, won’t God take care of it himself? Well, sure. But Jesus also said, “How few workers!” God will take care of his business by stirring us.
We must begin to crack open the doors of our homes. We must begin to be inconvenienced and late to work. We must begin to write the check. We must begin to put our own needs on the back burner. We must begin to acknowledge the nudge to help that person.
When you were a kid, did you know someone who was super-braggy about their dad’s work? My childhood friend’s dad worked for a cookie company. That family never shut up about it! They gushed and blabbered on about the perks. They gave out free cookies and then we gushed, too! Let us be that enthusiastic about the work of our father. Let’s brag about how good it is and hand out the free perks, perks we have already enjoyed ourselves.