Hi, welcome to redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges. These daily challenges are meant to help you explore what it means to follow Jesus even in the midst of a busy commuting lifestyle. If you’ve never explored what it means to follow Jesus, I’d encourage you to check our Christianity 101 course first. It would be a great introduction to the things we try to put into practice in these daily challenges. Every week we follow a daily, weekly rhythm that helps us as a scattered community of people trying to follow Jesus in a busy lifestyle work together and learn together.
Every Monday we introduce the idea for the week. Every Tuesday we try to see where that idea is spoken about in the Bible. Every Wednesday, we see how the Bible’s take on the topic challenges and transforms our thinking. Thursdays, we try to apply it, put it into practice. Then Friday is a day for prayer and reflection on how the week has gone. Saturday we take a day of rest and then Sunday’s a day for community.
It’s especially important that followers of Jesus are gathering together regularly in community. That’s why we’re going to be starting a brand-new Christian community, a new church in Ajax this year. I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to be part of what we’re starting. If you’d like to be part of the team to get it off the ground or if you’re planning to be regularly attending our worship and community once it starts.
Right now, our challenges are following a series we call Reset. We’re looking at what it means to follow Jesus and how following Jesus resets every aspect of our lives. We saw first of all, how the language of born again leads us to this conclusion. Then, we’ve been looking in the subsequent weeks at how following Jesus impacts each area of life. We’ve talked about time; we’ve talked about money, talked about our goals. This week going to talk about how following Jesus resets our attitudes about work. Work is such an important thing to talk about. Most of us spend more time at work than we do sleeping. Takes up so much of our day. It drives how we organize ourselves, what time we get up in the morning, what time we get home, what kind of childcare the kids are in or not. It determines our income and how we spend our money as a result.
Our work has a lot to do with how our lives are planned and organized. We talked through the series about how following Jesus resets everything. Our assumption needs to be that yes, following Jesus does reset our attitudes about work. It changes how we work. The question we really need to explore is how. What’s that actually mean to say Jesus resets our attitudes around work? Maybe you have some stories in mind that have you concerned. You know, I just met somebody recently who had just become a Christian, and they proudly told me that they had quit their job and were studying theology now.
I heard about somebody else, who joined a different religion altogether, and when they did they quit their job, a decent paying job and took a much lower paying job, simply so they could be working with a member of their religion. They weren’t allowed to associate with people of other religions anymore. That put up some red flags, obviously. Maybe those kinds of stories concern you too. You think it means following Jesus always leads to quitting your job. Maybe you have to become a monk or something like that, or you have to join the priesthood.
I heard one interesting quote from Friedrich Buechner. “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. I believe the fruit of such a calling is joy.” Now that kind of attitude towards our work probably doesn’t sound so bad. We can’t completely withdraw from the world, but all becoming monks are quitting a job that puts us in contact with people of different religions. We wouldn’t be able to meet the world’s deep needs if we all withdrew from the world as followers of Jesus. Following Jesus also isn’t about working to the bone with no joy. There’s meant to be a deep joy found in serving the deep needs of the world.
I know one friend who found himself so overwhelmed by his work and his career, so overwhelmed by the sense that he needed to be moving upwards, up the corporate ladder that he eventually found it was crushing him, and it was crushing his family. It was crushing his marriage. He left that job. After a period of uncertainty, a challenging time, found himself in work that was much more fulfilling, where he found himself serving others, caring for others, where he was finding deep joy in meeting the world’s deep needs. He was still using some of the same skills he learned from his education and in the early years of his career, but he found that it wasn’t joyless and it wasn’t disconnected from the world anymore. He was able to be a follower of Jesus in his work.
Sometimes we have to pause and reassess our ideas of what upward or downward mobility mean. Yes, my friend might be making less money than he did before. Yes, he put a career on hold for a little while, but he firmly believes that had he continued down the path he was going it would have led to his destruction. Sometimes we think our choices before us are just a choice of whether I go upward or downward. We don’t realize that continuing to pursue upward mobility at all costs could be ultimately the source of our demise, can actually be a choice between having any work, anyway, to support ourselves or our family or nothing, if we find ourselves so physically, spiritually and emotionally broken as a result of having pursued all the wrong things in life.
Whether it’s money, power, prestige or something else, our work can lead us to a path of destruction if we have our sense of upward and downward mobility mixed up, we think upward mobility is just about making more money, having a higher position in this world, we’ve missed the point that there is far more to this world than what we see right now. There’s far more to this world than money and career. I’ve got a question for you to think about before we get into this a little bit more this week. Our question is, “Do you think Christians are meant to work differently from others?” How and why?
Just a reminder that we’re reading the Bible in sync as a community right now. Make sure you check our website or app to see what today’s Bible reading is. Even while were scattered, we can be gathering together virtually to read the Bible together, to grow and learn as followers of Jesus. Hope you have a great discussion with a group you’re hopefully working with. If you’re not, think about who you could share our challenges with. It’s a great opportunity to connect to the deeper level with some friends or colleagues. Have a great one. I’ll see you tomorrow.Read the Bible in Sync Today