"we may not make it out of the bush leagues, but that’s not why we’re here"*
for the last four years i have been doing the bi-vocational ministry thing and let me tell you, sometimes it is sublime and sometimes it really sucks. on the bright side, this type of ministry provides one with the opportunity to serve people in the midst of ordinary life, ignore most forms of ministerial metrics and empower others and share the burden of leadership. on this shit side, this type of ministry means that you actually have to work for a living instead of being paid to be a praying, preachin’ and teachin’ professional christian. i suppose that the latter element of bi-vocational ministry isn’t too bad if you have an occupation that you either love or find relatively interesting, but it really sucks if you spend your days wasting away as a customer service rep, a swarmy insurance salesman or some other type of occupational bottom feeder.
why am i telling you this? damn, you always ask timely questions!
i suppose this is my little way of confessing that i am often seduced into thinking that my identity is defined more by what i do for a living than by the love of God. in the world’s terms i am nothing more than a recently fired web drone who is currently manning a post that will eventually be absorbed by workers (who, admittedly, will work far more efficiently and for far less money) in the Indian economy. i can’t quite bring myself to say that a monkey could do my job, but a well trained descendant of koko the gorilla could probably do the trick. fortunately, from God’s perspective i am not merely the shining star of some shitty little company, but i am his beloved. i realize this probably sounds terribly cliché, but i am still overwhelmed by the fact that God.loves.me. and i’ll let you in on a little secret, God.loves.you.too.**
so, on my better days, when i’m feeling downright suicidal about my job and searching latest edition of the n.r.a. catalog for a well-priced, liquid cooled AR-15 assault rifle, i remember that because of, in and through Christ, God has looked upon me in all my occupational wretchedness and said in his staccato voice “this is my son in whom i am well pleased.” moreover, if i stop long enough to listen to God’s warm affirmation i am reminded of uncle henri’s teaching that as the beloved child of God i have been: taken by His grace, blessed to be a blessing, broken by sin as well as the suffering of the world and given as nothing less than an incarnation of Christ’s compassion and sign of God’s reconciliation to the world.
maybe you don’t need to hear this, but i suspect that a number of you do. you are not defined by what you do, but by who you are, the beloved son, the beloved daughter and the beloved community of God. together, i hope that we can keep reminding one another of who we are and supporting and serving beside one another as we seek to obey that most ancient mandate of our creator, namely, to be a blessing to the world.
* warning: in this post i get a bit preachy. if that isn’t your thing, feel free to ignore it and wait for a more vulgar, humorous and mindless post.
** all of you, without exception. regardless of whether you believe the right things about Christ and/or have fulfilled the five steps of salvation, God created you in his image and longs to see you burst forth with his beauty, goodness and truth. please note, i’m don’t mean to offend or even evangelize anyone here, i’m just sharing one of my deepest beliefs.