Since I was little girl I was captivated by the heroic missionary biographies of self-less women like Amy Carmiachael and Gladys Alyward. I knew that I wanted to be a missionary because I wanted to serve God every single day of my life in a meaningful way.
In pursuit of this, after high school I went on to study at a Christian University and took various missionary trainings. However, after graduation God did not launch me immediately into what I thought was the “mission field”. Instead, I started to work 40 plus hour work weeks, that left very little time to do ministry work—which is what I really wanted to be giving myself to. I felt like my job was absolutely irrelevant to what my “true calling” was and somehow that I was in a spiritual waiting room, enduring my current state until God released me into my real calling. I would rush through the work week, anxious to get to the weekend so that I could participate in outreaches and other church activities, where I felt that my heart truly came alive and where I thought was of more value to God.
I felt really sad and heavy-hearted for not being able to live the life of service and ministry that I had envisioned. I felt like I was wilting inside and I questioned God a lot and asked him why he had placed such burning desires in my heart, if clearly they were not meant to be. I questioned myself—maybe God could see that I would never develop the character and the qualities that missionaries needed, that somehow I just did not qualify. I felt so much disillusionment and discontentment that God had somehow not chosen me for an important task. And still I resolved it in my heart to keep plugging through life until God revealed what I thought would be my “big ministry moment”.
For such a long time I had been looking ahead, expectant for what was to come and I was missing all the beautiful things that God was already doing in the midst of where I was. I had been separating my work life from my church life and thus I felt so unfilled because I felt like there was such a disconnect between the two.
Recently, I enrolled in a Sunday school class at my church based on Imagine Church. It was just what I needed! Through this course that my heart was opened to what God was already doing in my life and the ways that I was already serving Him and I did not know it.
Through this class I met school principals, doctors, scientists, bankers, stay-at-home moms all who lived each day with a missional intent: To serve and love God with their whole hearts, minds and strengths through their professions, their talents, and their time—not just on weekends, or through church-related activities, but 365 days a year, 7 days a week—at home, at church, in cafes or in a lab. They gave such value to the high calling of partnering with what Jesus was already doing in people’s lives around them, right where God had placed them. That to me was astounding.
Regardless of the nature of our careers, and whether we have an important position at work or not, the reality is that we are all agents of the kingdom of the Most High God. He has placed each one of us uniquely in different places and among different circles to impact different spheres of society—all equally important to Him.
I now truly look at my life with a new found zeal. I have a new perspective on how I go about my day-to-day activities: in the work-place, in my kick-boxing classes, getting my coffee each morning—these are all places where there are real people with real needs that are really important to God and therefore should be important to me. He is showing me that the workplace is a context for spiritual growth, for ministry, and for evangelism—all things that I so much longed to experience.
I have been making small changes in my day-to-day routine like praying for my co-workers before I get settled in my desk each morning. I ask God to help me to see what He is doing that day. That He would give me His heart for people and that He would help me to love and serve others through His Holy Spirit. I am deeply encouraged by this verse in Colossians: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ that you are serving”.