Our daughter, Maggie, and her boyfriend, Austin, have been visiting for this hot 4th of July week. Woohoo! It’s been wonderful time of bikes and boats and barbecues.
For Austin, who’s never been in Minnesota before that’s meant one-thousand-four-hundred-and-ninety-eight “first” conversations getting to know new people. Fortunately he’s patient and gracious and delightful.
But those “good-to-meet-ya” conversations aren’t easy for all of us. Because of THE question.
You know how it goes…You meet someone new and practically before you can say your name is Rumplestiltskin, the next question is, “So, what do you do?”
Rephrased: Just how important are you?
It’s a question that’s fun to answer if you can say “I’m the CEO of a fortune 500 company.” or “I’m a nurse in the ER at Fairview.” or even “I’m the Director of blah blah blah…”
But what if you don’t have a title? Or you don’t get paid for what you do? Or you don’t like what you do? Or you’re “under-employed” as they say?
What if you’re an animal hair boiler, or an odor tester, or a fountain pen repairer? (Yes, those are real jobs).
The other day I started to apply for something online, but quickly threw in the towel after they asked not only for the number of subscribers I have, but also the number of followers on Twitter and the number of Facebook friends I have, which don’t number in the millions.
Our value has been reduced to “numbers” and “names”.
To those who reduce us to numbers and “names” we want to reply as they did on the old Ginsu knife commercials with, “BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!”
On this Monday morning, whether you’re Gordon Gekko sitting in a corner office or are changing diapers, or mowing lawns, (or boiling animal hair), your job is not your identity.
Jobs are often idols, but not identities.
If you’re excited or proud about your “name” or “numbers”, open your hands, thank God for the blessing, but say, “No success or failure can become my identity. I am not just a _______________(your job). I am a beloved, chosen child of the most high God who’s given me gifts and is crazy about me with or without my names and numbers. My job is to honor Him today.”
If you’re discouraged, serving in obscurity, or unemployed or hate your “name” and “numbers”, open your hands, thank God and say, “No success or failure can become my identity. I am not just a _______________(your job). I am a beloved, chosen child of the most high God who’s given me gifts and is crazy about me with or without my names and numbers. My job is to honor Him today.”
How do you feel when someone asks you what you do? Is this a season when that’s easy to answer or uncomfortable?