It’s just not the way I operate. Not with this blog. I tend not to hem and haw around when developing and drafting a post. I jump in to see what will happen. However, this last month I jumped in four pools of thought, came up with four drafts, and left them all out to dry! Nothing satisfied me. Thus, according to my self-imposed rhythm, I’m late, I’m late.
In my last post, I asked for some input and advice regarding my posts, and I received some. Two responses are printed at the end of the last article, and then I received both verbal and e-mail input from a few others. So, based upon what I’ve heard, I will just continue doing what I’m doing. Let me know when you have some advice you think I should hear.
We’re in the middle of a series on vocation. I’ve decided to revise one of my four drafts and post it. The following picks up from the post, “A Life of Glad Hatting” (January 27), in case you want to go back to gain context .
Glad Hatters in Mortaland
In Mortaland, people serve each other with mixed motives, but even then, God provides through these fallen creatures. In the Garden of Eden, God gave the original couple the vocation of Earth Administrators: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). This directive to mankind has never been revoked, but we sure are messy in living it out!
What does this prayer Jesus gave us mean? “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Does it not connect with God’s Genesis 1:28 mandate? This affirming prayer means (at least) that the original calling God gave His image bearers is to be the desire of our hearts. Thus, we ask for it and work for it in cooperation with God, and we anticipate its fruition in the coming kingdom described at the end of the Bible (Revelation chapters 21 and 22).
Add to the divine, vocational directive of Genesis 1:28 God’s underpinning, motivational directives. “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5), and Jesus’ words, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 22:37-40).
1. Joy. It means that there are so many ways that I can love God by serving others through His specific design within me (gifts, talents, opportunities), employing the resources He has provided (good stewardship) — as His workmanship, His micro masterpiece within His macro masterpiece.
2. Anticipation. Collective Anticipation. It takes an infinite number of finite human beings to reflect the Infinite Creator-God. What opportunity! As my mother used to say when I as an adult came home to visit her, “What are we going to get into today?” So, what are we going to get into today, tomorrow, and for eternity? Infinite possibilities!
3. Determination and Resilience. I’m alive! I’m limited and so very broken, but I’m still gifted and always surrounded by needs. As Churchill challenged his people, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never . . . .” Challenges won’t stop God’s plan, so they won’t stop me. I’m in Christ. I’ll never give in or up.
4. Reflection. I can survey and analyze all the various hats I wear and ask myself questions to help me improve my serve and grow in my love for God and others. For the King and for His kingdom.
5. Trust. Since the King is the designer and equipper, the “author and finisher” of my faith and life and of yours, He is ultimately responsible. I’m responsible under Him. If He equips me with little energy, then that’s all I’m responsible to invest. When He gives me more strength, then I want to employ it in loving Him and blessing others through simple and specific serving acts.
Such a biblical worldview shapes my hats. I’m thankful for hats. Who’d want to be hatless? Only nihilism invents no hats; it steals hats. To live in a world with no King calling? No kingdom? No vocation? Hats, as a metaphor, communicate purpose and direction. Hats set mood and tone. Hats, like banners, can motivate us, stirring our creativity and productivity. And hats can come off when we sleep.
For six days, God wore His Majestic Creator’s Hat (with all his other hats under it), but on the seventh day, He and His hats rested. Work plus rest. Work of the Colossians 3:23-24 type plus rest of the Philippians 4: 6-7 type equals a glad heart — even in Mortaland, foreshadowing the Coming Kingdom. Rather, highlighting the Coming Kingdom. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done . . . .”
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”