Even though our everyday work was created through the glorious energy of Genesis chapters 1 and 2, we experience our everyday work through the “thorns and thistles” of Genesis chapter 3. Most of us feel the exhaustion of a work life that is so far less than what God intended it to be. So how can we reframe that 8-5 (or whatever hours you work each day) through the lens of the Gospel? Redeemed by Jesus, our work actually becomes a daily opportunity to fulfill the Great Commandment – to worship God and love our neighbors as ourselves.

On this week’s podcast, we take a wilderness journey with the Israelites to see what old-school idol worship can teach us about our day-jobs. And we learn a new Greek word often used in ancient business transactions that quite literally changes everything.

This week’s missional moment features my dear friend Darren Messick. After spending 25 years at what some would consider the pinnacle of full-time ministry, Darren found himself back in the marketplace loading airplanes for a global shipping company. This vocational move had nothing to do with burnout or scandal. To the contrary, he truly believes God led him there. Darren’s story is inspiring and his attitude is contagious. You don’t want to miss it!

Please share, follow, and rate this show (we prefer all the stars if you don’t mind) on your podcast platform of choice. It goes a long way to help establish us as a new podcast.

You can also find more information about Missional Marketplace and The Stone Table here:

The Stone Table: https://TheStoneTable.org




Missional Marketplace Book: https://www.erikcooper.me https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/173…


Speaker 1 [00:00:00] You know, the gospel is not opposed to effort. It’s not opposed to hard work and is opposed to trying to earn something that only Jesus can give us through that hard work. Right. And it so it inverts and it says all of the things your heart is longing for. You know, that that identity, that rooting, that salvation, right? All those things that you look at your life. And there’s this giant hole there. Yeah. All those things can be filled only by the finished work of Christ. 

Speaker 2 [00:00:39] We are back. Yes, here we are again. Welcome, everybody. It’s good to see you here on the Missional Marketplace Podcasts. Accelerating the Great Commission through the Marketplace. That’s what we’re all about. That is what we’re here to talk about. 

Speaker 1 [00:00:53] Absolutely. It’s been a fun first four episodes. And so we’re back for number five. 

Speaker 2 [00:00:58] Look at us. 

Speaker 1 [00:00:59] Go one for each feel. We’re almost up to the amount of Super Bowl rings. Tom Brady, almost there. 

Speaker 2 [00:01:05] Almost there. But you had to bring up Tom. 

Speaker 1 [00:01:06] I know as a Colts fan, that’s just that sacrilege. 

Speaker 2 [00:01:09] Here we are. Well, here we are. Yeah, like like you said. No, it’s been good to walk through these first few episodes. Now on five, if you’ve joined us maybe for the first time. Welcome. We’re glad that you are here. And if you’ve checked out all of the others and you’ve been following along this whole time, we’re just we’re glad that you have chosen to do so. I think if you’ve you’ve partnered with us this far, you know that we are walking these these episodes are walking through the book that you’ve written called Missional Marketplace. Right. Which is kind of given us the framework for these these first few episodes. And it’s just been it’s been a good conversations and a fun discussion. 

Speaker 1 [00:01:46] Yeah. Yeah. And you’re doing a great job leading. I did have somebody call and tell me, you know, your brother’s voice is so much smoother. 

Speaker 2 [00:01:55] So voice for radio. 

Speaker 1 [00:01:56] There you go. Yeah. 

Speaker 2 [00:01:58] If you’re watching this on YouTube, please go to the radio. 

Speaker 1 [00:02:01] That’s right. 

Speaker 2 [00:02:02] And it’s I don’t know. We’ve lost. 

Speaker 1 [00:02:03] It. Well, but I did have somebody actually asked me this week and, you know, like, cool, you’re doing a podcast like, why are you doing this? Yeah, you know, and it’s a good question. So, you know, again, I just I want to put this out there that the purpose of this is really to encourage marketplace believers really that that who they are and how God made them as part of God’s great story. And it’s part of God’s mission in the world. And so my my hope is if even a dozen people can hear and listen to this and just reframe what they do every day through the lens of how God has made them, what God is doing in the world, I think it’ll be a huge win. 

Speaker 2 [00:02:41] Yeah. And that’s what that’s what it’s all about. It’s just that conversation opening up new ideas, maybe talking about something you haven’t seen before, haven’t thought of before. I know even as we’re talking about some of this stuff, I’ve seen what I do each and every day in a new framework and a new lens has been just a beautiful thing. And so I hope that my experience is just a little bit of what others are having as they listen to us talk about all kinds of things. And so yeah, the first few episodes here we’ve been talking about work and the great story. You kind of said that here a little bit. In these next few episodes, we are going to be walking into work in the Great Commandment, correct? Right. And again follows the outline of the book that you’ve written here. And so tell us a little bit about that kind of open up that door a little bit, maybe crack it open and let us see, see behind that. And yeah. 

Speaker 1 [00:03:31] Yeah. I think really to get to this point there and we got to go on a little bit of a detour. So if you if you give me just a second here on a little bit of a detour, let’s go. We got to go back really a few thousand years to when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt. We’re going to kind of zoom in. We talk been talking about the great story. We’re going to zoom in on one specific episode here. Okay. Maybe you’ve seen this story. Charlton Heston. I think they played around Easter every year that the Ten Commandments. 

Speaker 2 [00:03:59] Yeah. Yeah. 

Speaker 1 [00:04:00] You all Charlton Heston with the with the bad you know all of that stuff was probably cutting edge back in the day. 

Speaker 2 [00:04:06] Badly good, right? 

Speaker 1 [00:04:08] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. But the Ten Commandments kind of outline this story. So so we see we find the Israelites in the book of Exodus. We find them in slavery in Egypt, and they’re miserable slaves. And Moses, this man named Moses, under the inspiration of God, he goes to the Pharaoh and he says, Let my people. 

Speaker 2 [00:04:31] Let my people. 

Speaker 1 [00:04:32] Let my people go. And God starts at that point through the Book of Acts to this first part of the book of Exodus. He’s showing up in miraculous ways, right? Like we’ve got we got plagues, we got locusts, we got frogs, we got gnats, we got the Nile River turning into blood. Ultimately, we have the death of the firstborn of everyone in Egypt who doesn’t have the blood across their door post. Right. Some miraculous stuff starts happening. And so Pharaoh, he finally relents. And he lets them go sort of. He sort of lets them go and they leave a long leash. That’s right. And they parade out. They get to the Red Sea. And what happens, man? Like the Red Sea was right. And it says they walked through the Red Sea on dry land, not mushy land. It says they walk through on dry land. 

Speaker 2 [00:05:24] Some really easy thing to miss over. Right? Like just that simple wording there. 

Speaker 1 [00:05:29] Yeah. 

Speaker 2 [00:05:30] Dry land. Yeah. Completely changes. We’re talking. 

Speaker 1 [00:05:33] I thought before we’re talking. About some crazy, miraculous God stuff right in my back yard. I can’t even more my grass right now because it’s mushy from just a little bit of rain. You imagine that the water that the sea floor is is dry. It’s miraculous stuff. They get to the other side and then it comes crashing down on the on their pursuers, the Egyptians that are pursuing them and trying to to bring them back. They get out into the wilderness. And what happens? There’s there’s a pillar of cloud by day. There’s a pillar of fire by night. All they’ve got to do is follow the pillar, right? I mean, the miraculous presence of God is with them. Iraqi water is miraculously coming out of rocks when when they when they when they need it, when they’re when they’re thirsty, they wake up every morning and there is breakfast, lunch and dinner right outside their tent door. Right. 

Speaker 2 [00:06:25] Got to worry about where their next meal is coming from. It’s nothing like it’s. 

Speaker 1 [00:06:28] There is miraculous stuff, right? My kids are tired of this joke, but I always like to say it was early recipe Chick-Fil-A. Oh, for sure. 

Speaker 2 [00:06:35] Had to be. Yeah, right. Had to be. 

Speaker 1 [00:06:36] Manna from heaven. Right. So I mean we’ve got the physical manifestation of God’s presence with these people each and every day. They have seen miracle after miracle after miracle. And yet. 

Speaker 2 [00:06:50] And yet. 

Speaker 1 [00:06:51] As soon as Moses goes up the mountain to get the Ten Commandments, what do they do? They they they pool all of their gold. They melt it down. They fashioned it into a golden calf. And they fall down and worship the golden calf. I mean, the literal presence of God right in their midst, doing miraculous things over and over and over again. And what do they do? They bow down and worship an idol. And I look at that story, Daryn, and I think, what in the world is wrong with these stupid people? 

Speaker 2 [00:07:25] Yeah, for. 

Speaker 1 [00:07:26] Sure. And then God kind of lovingly taps me on the shoulder and he says, Hey, Eric, you do the exact same thing. 

Speaker 2 [00:07:37] Right. Ouch. 

Speaker 1 [00:07:38] Now, I don’t have an idol of a calf in my backyard. Totally against homeowner’s association covenants. Right. I don’t think any of us have little. Most of us aren’t worshiping little statues. Right. That’s not what we’re talking about. 

Speaker 2 [00:07:52] Our culture. That’s not what we understand. 

Speaker 1 [00:07:53] Right. But but in Idol, we’re talking about idolatry, and Idol is a God replacement. And it is anything, anything that we put into an ultimate place in our lives and ultimate place of trust and identity outside of God himself. Anything we do that that elevate, anything we elevate to that place becomes an idol in our lives. Even good things. Maybe often. Maybe idols are mostly good things. 

Speaker 2 [00:08:22] Yeah, probably more often than not, especially in our culture. Right. Like you said it, like we don’t have these little statues or little things that we’re carrying around with us. But there are these things that we hold in that way, and they’re often good things. They really are. 

Speaker 1 [00:08:35] They are. Right. And our work there. And our work can become an idol in our lives. Yeah. And when we start, we’re going to get there. But when we start talking about work as the fulfillment of the great commandment, this is the big barrier, right? Our work becomes an idol. We place our trust right in our paycheck. Yeah. We place our ultimate trust in our paycheck. We find our ultimate identity maybe in the social status of our job. Mm hmm. Right. We define ourselves primarily by what we do. I think Western cultures are huge in this. Right. And so our work. Our work a good thing, a god idea. We’ve been talking about how work was. Part of it was God’s idea and God’s plan. It becomes an ultimate thing. And we place on it a weight that it cannot bear. It becomes an idol in our lives. And the gospel, Darren, is the only thing that can change that. 

Speaker 2 [00:09:32] Well, and it’s so easy to have those those moments, right, because I think often in church and even even outside of church a little bit, you talk about calling, you talk about your passions. You talk about the things you were gifted in. Right. And so you you go on this journey, right? And especially as a young guy in church, it’s like, okay, you have this calling, this thing that God has given to you to do. And so you start to seek that out. And finally you might come across something that, okay, I resonate with that. For example, myself finding music, being the thing like, Oh yeah, there it is. Like That’s what my calling is. And now all of a sudden you’re calling be can because it you feel that it’s given to you from God. 

Speaker 1 [00:10:14] It is. You can easily, right. 

Speaker 2 [00:10:16] Easily be flipped on its head. And now you begin to nothing else matters and you have to drive for that. So it’s easy in the music realm to say, okay, well then let’s negate any type of financial situation. You know, it’s like, Oh, you just go chase music. It doesn’t matter what what it does to your family or what it does to anything else. Just just go, just go. Just go. Or, you know, always creating, not taking care of yourself, not taking care of your family, your friends circle. Like now all of a sudden, it becomes this drive that, you know, often might look like, you know, you know, overworking or something like that. But really what it becomes is it’s that that calling that you felt like you had everything else falls to the wayside as you pursue that and that little bit, that minor little change there is a little bit like that Idol situation you were talking about that the good thing trying to the ultimate. 

Speaker 1 [00:11:10] So does that mean you shouldn’t pursue your gifts in your calling? 

Speaker 2 [00:11:13] No, absolutely not. 

Speaker 1 [00:11:14] No. But it means we need to reframe them. Right, right. Within the context of how God designed them. For sure. For sure. And so there’s there’s a word I want to bring into this conversation here. And I think it’s really important, too, to what we’re talking about here today. It’s a Greek word and it’s actually like you can’t see behind us on on the camera here, but it actually hangs on the wall right behind where where the camera is stationed here today, because I want it to remind us all the time of what is ultimately important. And the word it’s a Greek word. It’s the word title. 

Speaker 2 [00:11:47] Stay toasty. 

Speaker 1 [00:11:49] And it. Actually the last words that Jesus spoke on the cross before he died, the last recorded words of Jesus. He’s hanging on the cross. He’s been crucified. These are the last words that He says before he dies is the Greek word to tell us die. It is finished. It is finished. And some scholars actually believe to tell a story was a business term that they would have stamped in some way on receipts to kind of mark them in full. 

Speaker 2 [00:12:20] Yeah, it’s like the red paid. 

Speaker 1 [00:12:21] Exactly like the big red stamp that they would put. Same idea right on an invoice. And so wow, that word changes everything for us. That word is what puts everything back in the right context because we work from the place of it is finished. We don’t work now. We don’t work for our salvation. We don’t work for our identity. We don’t work for our social status. We work from the place of it is finished tightly and it is at that point then and only then that our work can become what God intended it to be, which I believe was the fulfillment of the great commandment that we see in Matthew 22. Yeah, that Jesus actually pulled from the Book of Deuteronomy and kind of added his, his little twist to it. Right. But you might know this this verse from Matthew 22, they came to Jesus and they said they said, Rabbi, what is the most important commandment? And Jesus actually answered how most rabbis would have answered. He said, To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength. And then he added to it. And the second is like it. To love your neighbor as yourself. Yeah, it’s it’s this that becomes the ultimate outflow of our every day work. When it is finished is the place we work from. Then we can focus all of our efforts. Now. No longer am I trying to earn my salvation. No longer am I trying to earn my identity or my place or my social status. So. So I can do the same thing you were just talking about. I can change those gifts. I can chase those passions, and I could chase those callings not to bring that ultimate fulfillment and wholeness into my life. But I can I can build on the ultimate whole wholeness that only comes through Christ. 

Speaker 2 [00:14:28] Yeah, it’s a little bit like the idea of you’re not working for a destination, but you’re actually enjoying the journey, right? And as I hear you talking about that today, it’s like, man, when I first find or feel this calling right, it feels like you’ve got to get to a certain place. There has to be a certain amount of success or a certain amount of things done in order to actually fulfill what you feel God is asking you to do. Right. But when you change it in now, all of a sudden you’re working from the place of it is finished. Now it’s a journey now it can ebb and it can flow and you can you can have good times and you can have hard times. And all of it kind of goes together as it’s a little bit of a symphony. Right? You have these big moments that I have these quiet moments, but it’s a journey and not necessarily a destination. And and that is that’s a beautiful thought for me to see my work in that way, instead of trying to just get one more thing, one more success piece, one more this, one more that, oh, I’ll only be successful if. And now all of a sudden it becomes, no, I get to, like we say a lot, partner with God. And the work that he’s doing already is right, you know, it’s right. 

Speaker 1 [00:15:42] So the gospel, it changes everything. You know, it inverts everything. You know, the gospel is not opposed to effort. It’s not opposed to hard work and it’s opposed to trying to earn something that only Jesus can give us through that hard work. Right. And it so it inverts and it says all of the things your heart is longing for. You know, that that identity, that rooting, that salvation, right? All those things that you look at your life. And there’s this giant hole there. Yeah. All those things can be filled only by the finished work of Christ. And once you invite that in, now that hole’s filled. Now go get to work. Go get to work. But do it from the right, from a reforming of what that work is always intended to be, which is every day we can go up in there and we can go out into our jobs to to the most complex or simple, you know, places of work or callings or vocations. And we can do them to honor God and love our neighbor as ourself. 

Speaker 2 [00:16:46] Yeah. And it’s right there. Right? It’s exactly what Jesus. Was saying there and now it’s outlined and in how we can can work each and every day. And, man, that’s that’s just a beautiful, beautiful switch. A beautiful switch there. And so there’s actually I know as we were prepping for this, there’s there’s another word that you’re going to give us today, another word that’s going to kind of enlighten us to some of these these truths as well. So, you know, hit us with this one. 

Speaker 1 [00:17:17] Well, we looked at to tell a story, right. Which is a Greek word that means it is Finnish that Jesus used when he was dying on the cross. Now let’s go to the Old Testament. So we’re back into the original Hebrew and well, let’s look at the Old Testament word for work. And my notes just went off the screen there. So, yeah, we got to we got to we got to. 

Speaker 2 [00:17:36] Back, we got to back We got to. 

Speaker 1 [00:17:38] It. So the word actually I had never heard this before until my friend Jim Cockrum shared it with me one day and. 

Speaker 2 [00:17:46] I said Jim. 

Speaker 1 [00:17:47] Shout out to Jim. Yeah. So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a revolutionary way of thinking about our work through the lens of the Old Testament. Right. So the word is about the avoidance of odor, av0dah, we should all say that together I vote to write about it. But but this is the word. This word is used multiple times in the Old Testament, but there are three specific uses for this word. They illuminate what we were just talking about. Right. The first is from Psalm 104, verse 23, it says, and man goes out to his work avatar and to his labor until evening. Right. So we see in the Old Testament, we see Avatar as work, work as work, work as you and I would know. 

Speaker 2 [00:18:33] Even though like we. 

Speaker 1 [00:18:33] Get up, we come here to the office, you know, we’ve got a real estate company, we’re managing properties, right? Like, you know, you get up and you go to your job every day. That is Avatar from Psalm 104. But we also see this word in Exodus Chapter eight. It says, Then the Lord back to Pharaoh and the Israelites, right says, Then the Lord said to Moses, Go to Pharaoh and say to him, This is what the Lord says, let my people go so that they may worship Avatar. 

Speaker 2 [00:19:04] Me So same word. 

Speaker 1 [00:19:07] Same word in in Psalm 104 means work labor. You know your day job, right? In Exodus eight, it means abode means worship. Let them go so they can worship me. DAH Right. And then we see it a third time in Joshua 24, where it says and actually, Daryn, do you remember mom always had this hanging on the wall in our house. She had this church, Joshua, 24 As for me and maybe a lot of you, have you had this in your house growing up? But as for me and my house, we will serve Avatar the Lord. We will serve Avatar. So we see we see the same word, meaning work, worship, know and service. Right? So if we if we reframe our work, our everyday work, our everyday labor alarm goes off. Got to go back to the office. I got a clock in. I got to go do whatever it is that I’m called to do vocationally. Yeah, I see that work now as worship to God and service love to my neighbor. Right. Which goes right back to what Jesus said. Yeah. In Matthew 22 from the Book of Deuteronomy. Right. Honor or love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Right? So we see this throughout Scripture. 

Speaker 2 [00:20:32] Because you can always look at that. You know, you go, Oh man, you know, he lays out these two big commands. How do I do that? You know, how do I love God and love people like this? You know? And it’s it’s easy to say. It’s easy to be a catch phrase. But what does it look like in a practical sense? And what you’re laying out here is that it really is in the work of our hands every day, no matter what what it is that we do, we can do both of those things. When we simply shift that that paradigm shift, if you will, into this idea of working from it is finished. 

Speaker 1 [00:21:04] And the gospel changes everything. Darren It changes everything. And I get so excited to talk about it because, you know, it’s, it’s such a revolutionary force. 

Speaker 2 [00:21:14] Yeah. 

Speaker 1 [00:21:15] It is such a revolutionary, transformative resurrection force. And so my hope today would be, you know, if somebody listened to this and made it this far. Yeah. The podcast. Right. That, that they would begin to reimagine and reframe their work not as they’re trying to earn their place, earn their status, earn their identity. Right. But when you go to work today, whatever you do, whatever you do in accounts payable, if you’re serving food at a restaurant right now, like if you’re if you’re managing apartments. Right. You know, you have the. Opportunity today to love God, worship God, and love your neighbor through the work of your hands. And I hope that brings some gospel meaning back into the reality of people’s every day work. 

Speaker 2 [00:22:05] Yeah, I love it. And like you said, that’s that’s the hope for this not only this episode, but as we continue in these podcast conversations, just to help reframe some of those things and give some new light and maybe just in courage and and vigor, somebody to walk out into their everyday work experience in a different, different way. That’s our hope. And, and so yeah, that’s what, that’s what the hope of this podcast is. And so we’re going to pivot now to our missional moment. We’ve I’ve loved these conversations over the last few weeks of just hearing these stories, these people in everyday life, whether they’re missionaries or pastors or entrepreneurs or a little mix of all of it, it’s just amazing to hear their stories. And our hope is that it encourages you, maybe gives you some ideas along the way. So today we’re talking to your good friend Darren. 

Speaker 1 [00:22:54] Right. Yet, Derek. 

Speaker 2 [00:22:55] Darren, you confused with me? I think even spells it right. 

Speaker 1 [00:22:59] He does spell it just like you spell it. You see. 

Speaker 2 [00:23:01] I got another friend that spells it completely incorrectly. And so it’s good to know that this Darren spells it correctly. But tell us a little bit about Darren. 

Speaker 1 [00:23:08] And then I’m going to let him tell a lot of the story. Just know this is an exciting one for me. You know, someone who has really wrestled this identity and work thing to the ground and the Lord’s using him in some incredible ways right here in Indianapolis. Right here in Indianapolis. 

Speaker 2 [00:23:24] I love it when we’re fans of Indianapolis, right? You know. 

Speaker 1 [00:23:27] That’s right. 

Speaker 2 [00:23:28] Well, hey, check out Darren story not to be confused with me Darren story on this week’s Missional Moment. 

Speaker 1 [00:23:35] I am so excited for this missional moment for you to hear from my friend Darren MESSICK. Darren and I have known each other since we were much younger. Darren was in college. I’m a few years younger than him. I was in high school, but Darren spent a quarter of a century in full time vocational ministry on the staff of two large megachurches in the area. Really what people would have considered the the pinnacle of vocational church ministry. But a few years back, he just felt like the Lord was leading him into a transition time. And it was nothing scandalous, nothing salacious, just felt like it was time to move on. And so he stepped away. Here’s a story. 

Speaker 3 [00:24:15] Said, Well, I’m just going to take a job and I’m going to take a job at this company that I had worked for as a courier years before. It’s a logistics company, delivery company. And so I thought, they’ve got great benefits. I’ll just go back there and do that until God gives me my next ministry. 

Speaker 1 [00:24:29] A short time after starting this new job, Darren had a dream. He was standing on a platform in a large stadium full of tens of thousands of people preparing to preach the gospel. He had his notes, and as he stepped up to the podium to begin his message, all of the lights in the stadium went out, and when they came back up, instead of a stadium full of people, there was just ten or 12 people sitting on the chairs in front of him. And then he woke up. He thought that was a strange dream. But a few days later, he he recounted it to his friend Izzy at work. And this was the revelation that came of it. 

Speaker 3 [00:25:06] I told him about the dream, and now I just feel, you know, God’s got something else. I don’t know what it is, but I’m just kind of here for a short time til God gives me what’s next. And He points around the table and Eric goes, like a light went off. I looked around and there were ten or 12 guys around the table just like my dream. Yeah, I’m like, Wow. And I suddenly realized it. Just like the light went up. This is where God has me. And He’s got me for a reason, a specific reason to be Jesus to these guys, man. Then from that day forward, I haven’t looked back. I’ve been there going on five plus years and I may be there. I don’t know how long I’m going to be there. 

Speaker 1 [00:25:44] You know, we talk a lot here at the stone table about both embodying the gospel and proclaiming the gospel. You know, when we learn to work from that place of it is finished, then the outflow of our everyday work in profound and in simple ways can become honored to God and love to our fellow man. Here’s how Darren describes it. 

Speaker 3 [00:26:06] You know, being an example, right? And that’s what I strive to do every day, is I’m just going to let God live through me. I’m going to be example one in my work ethic, in my dealings, in all of these other things. And that speaks volumes. And you have to say anything, you know. 

Speaker 1 [00:26:21] What I mean? But Darren was also looking for opportunities to proclaim the gospel as well. I like to say he was being winsome in his witness one night. He was working in his truck, broke down and he had to call a tow truck driver to come pick him up. When the guy arrived, he was grumpy and in a horrible mood and Darren looked for a connection point, just a way to interject and make a personal connection with this guy. And it ultimately led to an interaction that transformed how Darren thought about what he did every day. And I think it may have changed the tow trucks driver’s life as well. 

Speaker 3 [00:26:57] And as he’s driving his own route. So he picks up the cell phone and he starts talking. Yeah, yeah. I got one of these moron drivers, doesn’t know how to shift that thing. And I’m like, I’m right here, you know, I still love you. More on it right here. And he goes on and on and he goes, Yeah, well, daddy will be home soon again. All right. I love you, too. And he just just that’s it. And just sitting there and all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit, right? Holy Spirit. Ask him about his kids and ask about his kids now. And I’m having this conversation. I had no God, I’m not talking. This guy, he’s drunk. He stinks. He smelled. No, he just called me a moron. No, I’m not going to ask him about his kids. It’s like, oh, fine, God, fine. Hey, was that was that one of your kids on the phone? What? On the phone just now. So when you kids. Yeah, yeah, that’s was my boy. He worries about his daddy when he’s out like this. I said, Oh, that’s that’s sweet. And I’m thinking he’s like 70 years old, right? I said, Wow, he’s up kind of late. He goes, Well, he’s 35. He lives across from me. And I’m like, what? Like that issues there. But anyway, we won’t go there. But how nice that you say you loved him and he cares for Daddy. Whatever. It’s twisted, but whatever works for them, he goes needs it. Yeah, he gets worse. Oh, that’s great. As any other kids. That’s all he needed to say. He was happy to talk about his kids, told me about his daughter and then told me about one. Sonny has gone down in Texas because of the three strike rule on drugs and being too close to school zones. He’s been in life in prison. Why? And then he goes in to start pouring out to me about how he and his wife is like his fourth or fifth wife, I. I don’t want to know where the other three or four were buried at anyway. So he’s torn on man about this life and how she doesn’t want him ever to go have any contact with that kid, but he really thinks he ought to and all that other. And he just talks and talks about his kids. And I’m just asking questions about it. And finally, I realize what’s happening here. God’s opened the door here and I’m thinking and I’m thinking I can’t remember the guy’s name calling Roger or whatever his name was. I’m just thinking, Oh, my gosh, God’s got me here in the situation. What was I doing getting so upset and angry? God’s put me in a position of ministry. This is great. I’m going to win this guy over. I’m going to have this guy praising Jesus by the time we get there in 45 minutes. You know, I’m just getting excited about this. And I just felt God say, Whoa, tiger, just let him talk. Just listen. I’m going, okay, okay, okay. And I’m thinking about what I’m going to say to him when we finally get there. And I just feel, God say, I want you to say you’ll pray for him. Oh, yes, God, of course, I’m going to Trayvon. I’m going to lay hands on the sucker. I’m laying him out, man. And God’s like, No, no, no, no, no. You’re not going to pray for him. Tell him you will be praying for him. I’m like you, retard. Okay. All right. What? I’m just following the lead of the Holy Spirit. So we get up there and he pulls me in place, and by this time, we’re laughing, we’re talking together, you know, he’s orange stuff up and finally go, Well, I’m here, man. Hey, dude, thanks so much. We high five and stuff, you know, I’m getting out and I shake his hand. As I shake his hand, I take his hand in both my hands and I really grab this dude. Listen, I said listen. I’m just going to say some. Yeah, yeah, yeah. What do you got to say, man? I go, I think God’s telling me you do need to go see your son. And boy, that’s the look on his face. Now that I brought the God card in there, I said, I think God really wants you to go see your son. That poor boy’s down there and he is all alone. And all he has is his father. And I know just a visit from you would encourage him and help him in a life right now that if God doesn’t do something and free him out of this jail, you know, he’s looking at a lifetime of incarceration. He needs you, man. And listen, I want you to know I’m going to be praying for you. And I don’t know. I said that with as much energy and passion, I’m going to be praying for you. And it really took him back and it really took him back. A really shocked me with it. I kind of see what God held me to that point any further. I don’t think you would have we would have gone there, you know, but just that little bit. And I just hopped out and I said later, did love you, man, right? I did. And he just and he just just says, I’m slamming the door shut. I hear him go, God bless you like a boy. He really forced out that. God bless you, you know. But I was just like just those kind of instances, those kind of moments. Eric It’s been incredible. The I mean, it was with all my heart, I’m not making this up every day. God has those kind of interactions for us to have with the people that we just are around, you know, eight, ten, 12 hours a day. And we think we’re there to work. We’re not there to work. We’re there to love people first and foremost. Do you know what I mean? The work comes secondary, and that’s the way I approach my job every day when I’m driving in, I’m praying for the people that I oversee because right now I’m in a management position of one of those teams that I talk about, and I’ve got this group of 12 to 14 under me every day. I just go in, God just bless so-and-so today. I’m just blessed so-and-so because of this thing in their family. God just blessed so and so excited to deal with this health issue and things like that. I am their first to love people. I’m their second to work a job. 

Speaker 1 [00:31:53] A short time after we recorded this interview, a tragedy devastated Darren’s workplace. A deranged gunman came in overnight and shot nine of Darren’s coworkers. The entire company was thrown into chaos. But the next day, Darren cashed in years of investment in the lives of his coworkers and encountered an opportunity to minister to them in ways he would have never had had he just seen this as a normal, everyday job. 

Speaker 3 [00:32:29] When I went to FedEx, you know, I didn’t go there with the mine. Like I said, I went because I needed a job and I needed the benefits and I needed this, you know, and and so it wasn’t a great calling when I walked through the doors of the place. Right. I just went there because I needed it, you know. And it wasn’t till later they really realized what it was. A beautiful thing. Got to call me too, and really embrace it like I am now. 

Speaker 1 [00:32:52] For those of you who go to jobs every day and you say to yourself, I don’t know how this connects with anything that has to do with my faith or or the things of God that are so important to me. I’ve asked Darren to pray for you. I’ve asked him to pray for you, that you would begin to open your mind and your heart and let the Gospel and the Holy Spirit illuminate the ways God can use you each and every day, and what you might just consider a normal day job. 

Speaker 3 [00:33:20] Oh, God, I just love you, Lord. I just thank you, Lord, for Eric. And I thank you for the stone table. I thank you, Lord, for what you called Him to Lord and and God. I thank you, Lord, for those pastors and ministers out there, God working full time in the church. God to equip the believers, Lord and Father I pray for. To believers. I prayed for the foot soldiers, Lord, I pray for those on the front lines. God, because God, that cashier at the Maya Lord, that dude working in the little glass booth at the gas station, Lord God, that dude picking up garbage cans out in front of our house earlier this morning. Lord, these people, Lord God, we are on the front lines. God and Lord, we are surrounded each and every day, and we’re God by people that are dying to know the peace and joy that we have available to us through your son. Jesus Christ, Lord, Father, let us be bold. God, let us be bold. And by that, I don’t mean that we all have to find a milk right now and stand up and have that kind of boldness. Let us be bold enough to love the people around us still are going to get involved in their lives and in their stories, Lord Jesus, so that we can bring you in God, so that we can bring you in. To be that the answer that everyone is looking for God, let us be that, Father, let us be. You got us your hands or feet, your eyes, your mouthpiece, Lord, let us be. You got in the marketplace, wherever we are, Lord Jesus, let us love people, God as you love them, Lord God, we just love you, Lord, and just thank you, God, for this time with Eric. And thank you, Lord, for what you’re doing and what you’re going to do. And I prayed in Jesus name, Jesus. 

Speaker 2 [00:34:49] Man. I love that. I love that. And I love his name. His name is is great. 

Speaker 1 [00:34:55] He was he was named well named. 

Speaker 2 [00:34:56] Well, so. Thank you, Daryn, for sharing a little bit of that that story. And so that’s a wrap on episode five here at the Missional Marketplace Podcasts, Accelerating the Great Commission through the Marketplace. Right. And this is just one of a few resources that we offer here from the stone table. So hit them with some of the other things that we got. 

Speaker 1 [00:35:15] Yeah, we’d love. I mean, first and foremost, I mean, you can, you can help us out with a brand new podcast like this if you can go and like, yeah, well subscribe, yeah, you know, rate like and share, you know that that does a lot for us, you know, text, text the link to your friends. I mean, we’re on, we’re on Apple Podcasts, we’re on Spotify, YouTube, YouTube. I think most of the other you know, the other pretty. 

Speaker 2 [00:35:42] Much anywhere that you listen. 

Speaker 1 [00:35:43] To, you would be listening to podcasts. But you know, we also have a resource page at the stone table that org has videos, has articles continuing to expand that out. And then also the book, you know, again, in risk of seeming like I’m self-promoting here, none of the money from this goes to me. So yeah, I never mind promoting it, but if this would be an encouragement to you, you can go to Eric Cooper. Eric with a K Cooper Downey. 

Speaker 2 [00:36:08] I make sure that’s in there. That’s right. Everybody’s like there’s no Eric. 

Speaker 1 [00:36:10] Cooper down me are you can find this at Amazon. We’ve got an audible version as well. But you know, again, do us a huge favor. Subscribe rate and share this podcast with your friends that goes on. 

Speaker 2 [00:36:23] I think that’s the big call to action for you guys. If you could just rate that, that that’s a huge thing. Give us those five stars. Maybe put a little comment in there about you. Like the fact that my name spelled with 2 hours in a night or something. 

Speaker 1 [00:36:36] I mean, if you’re not going to rate us five stars, then don’t rate. 

Speaker 2 [00:36:38] Yeah, yeah. Just you. 

Speaker 1 [00:36:39] Come on, come on. So I’m earning my identity here. Doing I’m earning you know, I’m doing my play stars. 

Speaker 2 [00:36:45] Dad gave us three stars on the podcast was. 

Speaker 3 [00:36:48] What’s going on. 

Speaker 2 [00:36:51] Anyway anyway. Well thanks again for watching for listening to this episode of the Missional Marketplace podcast. We hope that it is an encouragement to you and we just hope that you can live from that place of it is finished this. 

Speaker 1 [00:37:05] Week, man. 

Speaker 2 [00:37:05] So go and work into that. So thanks for listening on the Missional Marketplace podcast and we’ll see you here next week.