God calls us to the work we are doing. He’s interested not only in what we do but how we do it. Yet, finding purpose at work is one of the greatest challenges in our world today.
We asked Jonathan and Jeannie Reynolds a few questions about their work and living out their faith in amongst it.
Tell us a bit about your work?
Jeannie: I am a nurse but mostly prioritising working as a mum at the moment.
Jonathan: I'm an Urban Designer, advising a range of clients, mainly in the residential sector.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Jeannie: It's a massive privilege (and a bit of a cliché to say it) to watch three little guys achieve things, get stuff wrong, learn and grow. I love watching them learn how to be friends with each other - they laugh a lot.
Jonathan: I always wanted to have a creative job working with creative types, and it is satisfying when a scheme is well designed and provides homes for local people.
What's the hardest thing?
Jeannie: Seriously I find it difficult to not feel as though I'm getting things wrong all the time. It's a temptation to put everyone on a bit of a ladder - other mums seem to do things better. I know this isn't right and can get in the way of having honest, down-to-earth friendships as they require making yourself vulnerable in some ways. Work in progress!
Jonathan: Sometimes there is a lot of pressure, and then there's hours, and the paperwork ...
How do you find being a Christian/living out your faith in your workplace?
Jeannie: I'm pretty sure my family would know the difference in me on the days I begin my day with Jesus at the centre and the days I don't. I'm rubbish at 'quiet time' in this phase of life but grab chunks of time to listen to a talk or something. What I am trying to do is walk and talk with God as I go along. This is the brilliant thing about our amazing God as He is interested in sharing every detail. I'm blown away by Him again and again and relearn again and again to involve Him.
Jonathan: I remember being struck by the verse in Mark 8 that challenges us not to be ashamed of Jesus in this world. Too often I find myself opting to believe the lie that Jesus cannot make a difference in my colleagues' lives. He changed mine completely after all ... using a work colleague!
How would you encourage others in this?
Jeannie: I grew up in an Anglican Church and went to a catholic high school. I guess there are some good things about prayer books and liturgy but maybe at times they stop us from just chatting, being real and down-to-earth in our relationship with our Father God. It might be a start to just say 'good morning Dad' at the start of the day and go from there? I'm talking to myself to here too.
Jonathan: Trust in Him. He said we can do nothing without Him. Not, 'we can do quite a lot', or 'come on you can do better'. No, He said we can do 'nothing' without Him living in us and being allowed to live through us. I have to keep relearning the lesson that the Christian life is His life lived in me.
Any other thoughts... ?
Jonathan: Just go for it prayerfully ... how's about setting up a prayer meeting at work! You might be amazed how open people are to it, and who turns up. Ask God to point you to a colleague who would like to go on the Alpha course. I need to remind myself to be open and honest with God in prayer, His shoulders are way bigger than mine! If you haven't got a prayer partner, pray for one - we're not 'designed' to be lone rangers!
God at Work Conversations
What does it take to live each day with purpose? A new resource is available for use in small groups or with a few friends. Twelve essential conversations that can be watched on a laptop to inspire the way you work. Contact Ebe Church Office to be sent a link to the videos.