Thursday, January 26, 2012

Living, Simply to Serve the King

Devin Rose is a personal, deeply personal friend of mine.  We have served in ministry together and walked down both rugged and joyous paths together.  I tell Devin all the time that he spends too much effort “trying to teach reindeer to dance” – he likes going against the flow.  But Devin’s heart is the heart you’d wish your best friend had.  Please check out Devin’s reindeer dancing blog at RethinkReligion.

As a junior in high school, I went to Maranatha Camp at the Lake of the Ozarks. I listened to a speaker stomp back and forth on the stage challenging us not to get saved (most of us were church kids), but rather, if "we knew that we knew that we knew we were called to vocational ministry", to come forward. I stayed at my seat. At 18 I was already a little leery of the Christian camp spiritual hype and didn't want to base my life's work on an emotional moment.

Nevertheless, I went to a Christian university, majored in Christian Ministry, and wound up working in the church anyway. Many times, I wanted to get out, to get a new job, and to have a different life. Through a series of choices, unfortunate circumstances, and Providence I found myself no longer working in the church, but running a coffee house and pub. Before I attempt to reconcile those jobs, a word from our Sponsor (as my host would say):
Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going. Ecclesiates 9:8-10 (NASB)
The problem with my church job wasn't my job; it was me. I did not start first with the understanding that the works God set before me was the thing I was to do and do it as well as I could. I spent so much time trying to find the right thing I was never right, myself.

This is much like my single friends who are always looking for "The One" when, the truth of the matter is, even if they found the "perfect one", they themselves were imperfect and would doubtlessly ruin the relationship.

Running a cafe and pub is just a job like any other: there are things I like and things I don't, people I like and people I don't; however, my approach to the job makes it perfect for where I am in life. We teach our staff that this is not a job like any other because we start with the belief that a person's life can be impacted by a great beverage and caring about the person you are serving it to.

Nothing has meaning until we give it meaning. When we are externally focused on something or someone else making us happy or fulfilled we miss what God is trying to do in us and then through us where we are in life. I began seeing the way I did my job as a reflection of my identity in Christ. It's not about what I was doing, but how I was doing it. Was I loving other people where they were? Was I speaking truth into their life? Was I treating my boss and employees with respect? Was I listening to the Holy Spirit as to what I should do next?

Each moment you are in is an opportunity to write history, your own obituary, and live the identity that God has given you.

Our calling isn't a magical moment at a camp where God chooses some "A" team of pastors and missionaries, but lifestyle in which we live as servants to the King, doing His work wherever we are.

Devin M. Rose

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