I worked in the mail room at Word Records when I was in college.
I was a student at Belmont University, ground level for a lot of starry-eyed artists looking to break into the Nashville music scene. This mail room gig gave me a chance to rub shoulders with some of the movers and shakers in the Christian Music industry of the early 90s.
I enjoyed the work. It was mundane, but hey, I was 19 years old and technically working “in the music industry.” I wasn’t recording albums, but at least I was putting some pizza money in my pocket.
Work That Matters
I never asked myself how this work was glorifying to God. I was delivering mail in little carts, what could that possibly have to do with God’s glory? But I was wrong, or at least ill-informed. All work is a divine opportunity to fulfill The Great Commandment, to worship God and love our neighbor.
I wish someone had helped me connect the dots back then.
This type of “mundane” work doesn’t get any press in today’s culture. No one builds a viral YouTube following by just faithfully showing up and being committed to an 8-5 gig for 40 years. In fact, our culture shuns these kinds of jobs.
We mock the drudgery in movies like Office Space.
We lament years “wasted” in the rat race.
We romanticize those who throw off conventional responsibilities and spend a year riding their bicycle across Europe.
And there is some truth to these stereotypes. Some of us dodge the call of God for the safe choice and miss out on the colorful potential His life has to offer. But I fear more of us are missing the beautiful opportunity God has afforded us through the everyday mundane work Western culture has taught us to disdain.
And I think that’s a shame.
You don’t have to start some celebrated nonprofit to matter in God’s Kingdom. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to do truly important work. You don’t have to own the business to make an impact.
Sometimes the most courageous work you can do is to embrace your chance to glorify God and love your neighbor through what our culture has deemed a mundane job. Every day, God gives us an opportunity to partner with Him through our work, from the corner office or the mail room.
It doesn’t matter whether the culture celebrates your work or not. Start seeing your job through the lens of God’s story instead of the American Dream. Whatever you put your hands to today can be used to glorify God and love those around you. This is your calling for this moment. Don’t waste it!
Don’t buy the hype. Be faithful to what’s in front of you. It’s a sacred opportunity.