In July 2007, I left my job at State Farm to join the Crosspoint staff full-time as the Community Life/Teaching Pastor. Needless to say, it was a big change and transition for me and our family, as I had been at State Farm for almost 10 years. Now almost 6 years after having left the company, there is still something I miss about it. And that something has nothing to do with what was on my W-2, because if there is one truth I have learned in the transition, it is that God is faithful to meet ALL our needs, and He is most surely capable of teaching us contentment if we are open to it (Philippians 4:11-13, 19).
So the one thing I miss actually has nothing to do with those elements of my former job…the one thing I miss is the relationships. After having worked at one company, and on several different teams while there, you build a lot of relationships. You get to know the people around you, and their stories. You enjoy some big moments together. Celebrating times such as the growth of their family, or a new home, or a new job within the company. Hurting times such as the loss of a loved one, or the end to their marriage.
In short, ‘work’ became more than just work. It became friendships and relationships. It became this massive opportunity to reflect Jesus to the people I worked with. I didn’t have to go looking for opportunities to reflect Jesus, I simply showed up to work. And sometimes, by the grace of God, I got it right. Sometimes I stepped into the opportunities that the Lord put before me, and humbly shared my faith and what Jesus had done in my life. And if I’m honest, sometimes I squandered those opportunities for some weak reasons such as too busy or too fearful. I regret those times now, even 6 years later, and yet I trust that the Lord used me how He saw fit in that season of my life.
The definition of squander means to lose an opportunity through negligence or inaction. Squander is not a pretty word. We are prone to squander limited and precious resources such as time and money. Often times, we don’t see work as anything more than getting a paycheck, or bringing home the bacon. It is something we ‘have’ to do, and we incorrectly assume that work is a part of the fallen world we live in. But in fact, work is a part of God’s original design and was in the world, before sin ever entered it (Genesis 2:15). So work is not a “have to”, but a “get to.” Granted, that is easier said than done on certain days.
We are not in our workplaces by accident. We didn’t just happen to get the jobs we have or own the businesses that we own. God has placed us there for such a time as this. I believe that to be the case for me. My focus now is not to reach my co-workers (they are all saved btw). I believe now the Lord wants me to encourage and equip Crosspointers to go out into their places of work. To not squander the divine opportunity that is before you. To be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), to be a witness for Jesus (Acts 1:8) to the world around you, and to tell others about the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24).
So pray for the Lord to give you opportunities this week, and that you won’t miss or ignore them. Be quick to listen to your co-workers, ask great questions, and get to know who they truly are. Be a friend, show the love of Jesus. Invite them to join you at Crosspoint. Humbly share what the Lord has and is doing in your life. Make yourself available to be used by the Lord, for His work, and for His glory. This morning as I wrote this, I prayed for you Crosspoint, and am thankful that our great God invites you and me to join Him in His great mission.