For the last day or so, I’ve tossed around ideas for what to write this week. Surely there’s something witty or useful or profound that will thrill you, the reader, and alter your life’s course, and I should be writing that down. So I start, and I stop, and I bang my head on my desk, and I pace the room and drink coffee, hoping that something will come to mind.
Naturally, this indecisiveness simply stems from the goodness of my heart. I want to be profound for the readers! I want to help them with their difficult life choices! I want to cheer them on their way! But when I think about it, I realize that my main problem has little to do with some philanthropic desire for the reader’s well being, and it is not simply writer’s block.
I am scared to fail. I am afraid that I will pour out my heart and thoughts to you, but it won’t make an iota of difference to you. There’s a blinding fear that what I write will not matter. And even worse, there’s that nagging feeling that what I do in my life, ultimately, will not matter.
To be honest, this goes far beyond my writing. My “day job” is mundane—technology in the world of investment banking. I’m not likely to change anyone’s life or make a real difference in the world by sitting behind a desk and answering emails all day. I struggle with knowing why I’ve been placed here, when there seem to be so many people out there doing interesting things that make a difference.
I can’t possibly be the only one who feels this way; after all, the vast majority of us have yet to prove ourselves in our profession. I dare to hope that some of you too are sitting behind desks as you read this, feeling like you know you’ve been placed there by God, but you can’t fathom why.
This is what I am going to be bold and suggest to you (and to me): let’s pray about it. In a conversation yesterday about a somewhat separate issue, God brought to my mind a fragment of a verse about asking for wisdom if we lack it. I couldn’t remember the full verse, so I looked it up. This is what it says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding faults, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5, TNIV)
“Without finding faults” jumped out at me. You see, when I have these doubts and fears, I then immediately assume that God is going to be somehow mad at me for doubting Him in the career and work that He’s placed me. I picture God sitting in his throne in the clouds, shaking His head and saying to himself, “That girl. She just doesn’t trust me enough. As soon as she trusts me enough, then I can actually give her wisdom.” But no, James says that if we lack wisdom, we can ask God, who gives without reproach, and it will be given.
So, will you do that with me? Ask God for wisdom about why He’s placed you where you are right now. Watch for what He reveals to you. I will do the same.
After that, take a leap of faith, and write about what God shows you. We need to hear from people from all professions, in all walks of life, who have seen God’s hand in their work. Maybe He will work through you in your workplace in the life of a coworker or acquaintance, or maybe your work will touch someone directly. Maybe He will reveal to you how you can emulate Him in your work. Or perhaps He will show you how your work itself mirrors a facet of His character.
It doesn’t matter what you do—you could be a doctor, a graduate student, a stay-at-home mother, a musician, a pastor, a department store clerk, anything. What does God show you in your specific profession? How has He sustained you to get you there? Where can you encourage others with your testimony?
In any case, please write it down and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s fellowship by seeing God’s hand in each other’s work.