For years I worked in the logistics industry. It wasn’t something I loved, but I was really good at. On top of that, the nature of the logistics biz kind of drove me nuts. It wasn’t uncommon for me to wake up at 2am, work for a bit to solve an emergency, go back to bed, then head into work to solve other emergencies.
I knew this wasn’t where I wanted to spend the rest of my career. But every time I tried to get out, I felt like God was closing the door. He didn’t want me to leave. I wasn’t being freed up to go on to something else.
After about a year and a half with a certain company I had a shocking conversation with one of my team members. She was struggling a lot with God. She made it pretty obvious to everyone. In fact she would always say she didn’t believe in God.
One day I asked her why she didn’t believe. She told me a story about her son-in-law and how he had killed her grandson years ago. She went on to say with tears in her eyes, “…there’s no way there could be a god who would allow for something like that to happen”.
We continued talking one-on-one for about two hours and her tears soon turned to joy as she rededicated her life to the Lord. Why did she do that? What happened during that two hour conversation?
Well, she had come to an understanding that while all things may not make sense to us, God still has a plan, and He wants us to put our faith in that plan. Ok, there was a lot more to it than that.
You have to know that God has a reason and a purpose for everything in your life.
Shortly after that conversation the craziest thing happen, I headed back to my office and heard my phone ringing. It was a team member who used to work for me who told me there was a company that wanted to hire me. He asked me if I had a resume I could send over. So I did, and guess what…I was hired in just a few days.
Random coincidence I’m sure! : )
Not hardly! I wholeheartedly believe God kept me at the previous organization so one day I would have that conversation. Now obviously there were other things that happened while I worked there, both good and bad, but I know that God kept me there for that specific reason.
God loves his children so much that he’s perfectly fine with keeping me in an industry I disliked so that I would have a conversation that guided one of His kids back to Him. Having that perspective kind of makes you feel silly when you catch yourself complaining. And the moment after I talked with her, He moved me on.
So here’s five ways to make sure you are doing your work as unto the Lord.
1. Understand that this is God’s story…not ours.
If you are caught up thinking that this is your story, you couldn’t be further from the truth. This is God’s story, and He’s allowed us to be a part of it. If He wants to use you in a situation so He may change one of His children’s lives, He may do just that.
Doesn’t mean you can’t fight Him on it.
Doesn’t mean you can’t run away.
But if you’re not feeling freed up from a job, there must be a greater reason why God has you there in the first place.
Ask God to bring to fruition whatever it is He is wanting to do with you.
2. God has a plan for you…regardless of your environment.
It’s difficult to work with people who don’t have a lot of integrity. It’s difficult to work with people who create a bad work atmosphere. Maybe there’s gossip or backstabbing. You have to understand that no matter what else is going on in other’s lives, God still has a plan for you.
Here’s Jeremiah 29:11in the Message:
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
So if that’s true, and you are in a work environment that is not ideal, it doesn’t mean that you stop working hard for God. Just because other people are that way doesn’t mean you mess yourself up in the process and stop doing a great job.
3. Don’t bring yourself down to the level of others.
When the folks around you are not working their hardest, it can wear you down. If your work ethic slips to the level of those around you, guess what? You make yourself considerably less marketable. I want you to focus on being marketable. That means making yourself even more valuable as if you are going to another company. Ask the question, “How can I make myself even greater in situations where most people don’t care?”.
If you focus on making yourself more marketable to other businesses, when the time is right, not only will God move you on, but you might even get a better position at your current organization.
4. Focus on how you can bless others around you.
How can you be a witness to those around you? If people are struggling or not giving their all, if they are gossiping or backstabbing, you should still be a light. You should still be a witness to them. Not only a witness to a better work ethic, but also for Christ. They should be able to see you live in Christ even if you don’t say it with your mouth.
St. Francis of Assissi said, “Preach the gospel at all times, when necessary, use words.“
5. Talk to God.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing, prayer is literally a game changer. Prayer is not about how fancy you can be with your words. If you are using nine dollar words with God…He’s not impressed. In fact, He wants you to talk to Him as children do. You are His child, and prayer should never stop.
Pray without ceasing. That means you are talking to God all day long. The same way you talk to anyone else around you. So when you’re in a job or industry you don’t like, talk to God and let Him know how you feel. He cares. Ask Him what He wants from you. Ask Him what you’re suppose to do. Ask Him how to be better at what you’re doing. Ask Him for direction, guidance, and even ask Him to bless you. There’s no harm in any of that.
But remember, don’t stop talking to Him just because you’re not happy with where you’re working. The more time you spend with Him, the greater chance He is going to let you in on the incredible plan He has you in.
How have you seen God at work in your life, and the lives of others?