I remember when I was young (some time ago) that I thought serving God surely meant being a missionary in deepest, darkest Africa (or South America) or being a pastor or chalk artist evangelist. Not that I'm an artist, but I remember how impressed I was with the chalk artist evangelist at our summer Bible camp. I think everyone walked down the aisle that night because we were so moved by the amazing pictures he drew. And then he turned a special light on them which made certain things in the scene really pop out. It was incredible, and I'll never forget it.
Then I got older. I realized that although being a missionary in a foreign land had a certain exotic mystique to it, the real test came in trying to live my life daily as a Christ follower - the nuts and bolts of everyday living.
I spent a year in Bolivia when I was 19-20. I worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators. I saw firsthand that being a missionary didn't mean people were any better or kinder or more pleasant in their daily lives. There was still bickering, gossip, arrogance, etc. Why? Because missionaries are HUMAN too.
Our friends' Bible study has been reading a book, Being Human, by Ranald Macaulay. (He's the son-in-law of Francis Schaeffer, for those of you who might not be aware of that). I'm quoting a kinda long passage here, but it's one that I think is pretty important to the Christ follower, reminding us that spirituality doesn't just involve pastorhood or missionary(hood?) or what, in evangelical Christian circles is often called 'full-time Christian ministry.' We are ALL called to full-time Christian ministry, whether our job is in construction work or rearing children or teaching school or gardening or working as a checkout at the local grocery store.
From the book, Being Human, by Ranald Macaulay:
"Spirituality involves the whole of human life; nothing is nonspiritual. But where Platonism has affected Christian teaching, there has been a separation of the sacred and secular. Thus, prayer, worship, evangelism, and 'the ministry' are thought to be sacred. All other activities are secular. The sacred is said to be more spiritual...
"This mentality subtly affects Christian thinking in numerous ways. For example, someone might say, 'If only I could be involved in something really spiritual like witnessing rather than peeling these potatoes.' The New Testament stands absolutely against this division of life into more and less spiritual sections. Consider Ephesians 5:18 We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit continuously. How is this to be expressed? In singing psalms and hymns and thinking of others' needs as we submit to one another in the ordinary everyday relationships of husband and wife, parent and child, employer and employee. This is what it means to be filled with the Spirit.
"Paul says elsewhere that we are to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17). All we do is to be done under the lordship of Christ - even washing floors. Everything we do as human beings is spiritually important. There is no sacred and secular.
"This does not mean merely that we see practical value in 'secular' tasks like peeling potatoes and washing the floor. It means far more: God himself delights in them because he has created the realm of the physical. Therefore, we are to value every part of our lives just as he does. In fact, spirituality is to be expressed primarily in the ordinary everyday affairs and relationships of our lives."
So as you go about your work today, whether it's gardening or teaching or nursing or spending time with a friend, or playing softball - remember that we're living in Christ's Kingdom. He is Lord of all. And ALL we do is to be done to his glory. 'There is no sacred and secular.'
This post is linked to http://intentional.me