I hate my job. I hate the eight hour grind, the idea of going somewhere and working all day in a profession that is ultimately unsatisfying. Like most people, I dream. I envision myself being a best-selling author, of being a house dad while I write. I work on my novel for a few hours, and then the rest of the day is mine. Maybe I’ll exercise. Or go shopping. Or take a walk in the park. Or browse the internet or watch TV. I can do anything I want because I have no obligation to be at a place of employment. Money is not an issue for us anymore. We take vacations when we want. Publishers flock to me for any news on my next Patrick Null novel. In my imaginings, I’m happy; you can’t keep the smile off my face.
But is that true fulfillment? Two things happened that made me question my perspective on life. The first is the sermon I heard at church on Sunday. The second is a conversation I had with my wife.
We started a new series in Ecclesiastes. In it, the unknown author, who many attribute it to be Solomon, laments that he has seen and done it all. This king built houses and planted vineyards, made gardens and parks and pools. He bought male and female slaves and had many possessions and great wisdom. Whatever his eyes and heart desired, he did not say no to.
Do you understand what that means? It means that in today’s time, if you had the money, and said yes to everything you wanted, you’d walk into a car lot and say “I want that car. And that car. And that car. And what the heck, I’ll take that car, too.” You’d want that house and that
house and that house in Florida for a summer vacation home, and you’d want to buy that house from someone in Paris because you like the house. Oh, you won’t sell? I’ll give you three times the price. Interested now?
This was the life of the author of Ecclesiastes. He kept himself from no pleasure, no wants. And even he said everything was meaningless, vanity, a striving after the wind, a quick spritz from a perfume bottle, here one second, gone the next.
Depressing, huh? That everything we strive after is ultimately worthless? Know why? Because true enjoyment can’t be found in Earthly pursuits. It can only be found in serving God. “…for apart from him, who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him, God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy…”(Ecclesiastes 2:25b-26a).
True fulfillment is not found in money or power or possessions or hobbies, like wanting to write full time, a dream most writers never realize. No, it’s all vanity, a striving after the wind, a spraying mist from a water bottle. True satisfaction is found only in Christ.
Afterwards, I had a talk with my wife. She told me that when I go to my job, I’m not serving the company but God. I asked her how am I serving God? Even then, my confused mind couldn’t grasp the concept. She told me that I would be serving God by being a witness, to let my light shine forth, to be an influence on people for the gospel.
She’s right. I can’t be an inspiration if I’m constantly bitter at my predicament, my supposedly assigned station in life. Maybe God put me there for a reason.
So, I’m changing jobs. Rather, I’m changing my job title. Instead of being a meat clerk, I am a missionary cleverly disguised as a meat clerk. I’m not working for the company any more. I’m working for God. Anything else is meaningless. Now, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue earthly pleasures. God wants us to have fun. What it does mean is that true pleasure can only be found in Christ and anything else shouldn’t be our main focus. We can get refreshed at the fountain of life. Amen?
I hope this helps people who might be experiencing what I’m feeling, and all it takes is a simple heart shift. Change your job title, and you’ll see your perspective change. I hope you enjoyed reading my ramblings. I have posted the link below for those of you who want to watch a great sermon on what we just talked about! God bless, and I’ll see you next week.