My seven year old has become a bedtime theologian. All day long its glitter, dancing and unicorns and then magically after getting tucked into bed, prayers said, kisses given…out pops true deep theological questions. You know the kind; maybe you have had a night time theologian in your house too. These are the kinds of questions that cause you to run and grab the study bible, call in the husband for back up and pull out the past 10 years of sermon notes.
Just last week after our regular routine and as the door creaked its way shut my daughter calls out, “Hey mom, one last question…why did God even create people? I mean, what did He want us to do? He doesn’t need us.”
I ran and grabbed my phone, (because every good Christian has the bible on their phone.) I smiled, this one I thought would be easy to answer.
I jumped straight to the great commission, this should solve this quickly. I turned to Matthew 28:19-20 “ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Trying to bring it down a bit for this tiny theologian, I explained how as believers our job is to bring glory to Christ in all that we do and to go make disciples in all the world.
“Oh, so that’s your job?” she asked.
“Yes, that is it, that is what God wants us to do.” I replied. She was deep in thought and then blurted out…“I thought you were in marketing mom?”
And my heart sank, because this is my title but it is not my mission. I want her to know that, I want to be living in a way that she knows that.
I finished with some standard sentences about how that was my “work” but not the mission God had called me to. She nodded along and said she understood but this tiny theologian had my head spinning!
As believers, there has been this swirling dialogue for generations about faith and work. We have asked: Am I called less when I am not called into vocational ministry? If I’m not on the missions field am I really doing what God has called me to? Like my seven year old we have asked God, “Do you really even need me in this everyday task you have given me?”
Surely, God has given us a way to equip the next generation to get it much sooner than we have.
I am reminded of Deuteronomy 11, as Moses speaks to the Israelites after giving them the Ten Commandments from God and how they are to carry those to the next generation.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.” Deut. 11:18-21
Is the way in which we do our work, the way in which we live out our sacred calling so evident that it can be seen as symbols on our hands and found on our foreheads?
If we want our children to grasp how God has called them to live out their faith in their work (whatever that might be) then we have to teach them what it says! As we try to live out the great commission daily and the ups and downs we face in doing so we are told to talk about it with our children. ”Talking about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” This means transparency friends! Can we be bold enough to share our failures and struggles in discovering our calling with our children as we teach them?
Am I bold enough to share of the time my pride got in the way of my calling? Or what about the time I made my work my idol and had my priorities all wrong? Can I share the times God has used my day job to share the gospel as well as the times I missed the opportunity? Can my journey with faith and work be used to speak God’s truth to their heart?
Will you join me in writing and sharing the story on the doorframes of our houses for the generations to come, that they may see (as many of us have struggled to find) that their work & calling no matter what it might be is sacred!
And just maybe, that great commission we are called to…that starts right at home with that tiny, nighttime theologian!
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58