The Miracle of What We Don’t Want, Part 3

I have discussed the situation I found myself in here. I have also discussed how God directed me to lead with Spiritual Formation and Discipleship in mind.

Now, I will tell you about a few of the things we tried and how they worked.

Daily Prayer. Everyday at 9:30, any staff that wants to meet gathers for prayer. I will usually read a few verses and we will discuss it briefly.  Then, we will take prayer requests. When you have a fellow colleague who dies during the semester, there was no shortage of the need to pray. When another librarian loses her father and another one has a daughter with cancer, we have spent many of these daily prayer times crying, sharing with one another, and connecting in powerful ways.

Staffing With a Mission. We had many positions to fill. Our first priority was a part time person who could run our Circulation Desk. This person would be working closely with a large team of student workers. I wanted to find someone that could be more than a supervisor but could invest in and mentor our student workers. I needed someone with a minister’s heart. We found a Doctoral Student who was a former children’s minister and loved connecting with others. She could do the ins and outs of the job but she also could show love, care, and compassion for our student workers. She was an answer to prayer.

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The flier for Nuggets and Knowledge

Nuggets and Knowledge. I wanted to find ways to connect with our student workers beyond work. I had hoped to help develop what are known as soft skills with our students. And, I wanted to demonstrate and discuss how Christ changes how I work, parent, listen, and lead. I knew that I could meet with our male student workers and our new Circulation supervisor could meet with the females. I purchased a 30 count platter of nuggets and invited our guys to come to my office for lunch. I called it Nuggets and Knowledge. We were able to meet one time but I plan on making it a monthly occurrence. Our first meeting was a great opportunity to get to know each other and for me to share a little of my story.

The Value of Service. I couldn’t tell you how many times on our campus, I have heard people talk about experiencing something different when they arrived, the presence of God even. I have heard it so many times that I don’t think it is hyperbole. It is my desire that people have the same experience when they walk into the library. YES, the library. I want people to have a sense that something important is happening in our corner of the campus and that God must be a part of that. One way we can make this a reality is through our quality of service. We are training our student workers to smile and look up, to take extra time with our patrons, and to take their tasks seriously for the betterment of those they are serving.

I have only been Interim for one semester and I really don’t know what the future holds and I am not too concerned by it. I know that God has called me for this time and place and I want to honor that calling. The rest is out of my hands. No matter what happens, I can know that I did what I was asked to do and I did it in a way that fit with who I am and who God has made me.

4 Reasons Why You Need To Grow Up:Reason #2 You Have A Job To Do

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I don’t know what your job is but I know that beyond your occupation, you have a God appointed task to do.

Maybe God has asked you to reach out to someone in friendship, or to pursue a particular goal, or to start a new project that will benefit others, or maybe you are just called to be the best parent you can be, or to honor your employer with hard work, or to be a better listener.

As a Christian, there are countless opportunities for obedience and intention. Some of these are elaborate and unique to only us and some are simply fulfilling our duty as a follower of Christ. No matter the complexity or the specifics, in order for us to take advantage of these opportunities, we have to have the skills, the make up, and the maturity to do our job.

Through scripture God has asked us to love, to be obedient, to pray, to share the Gospel, to have faith. Then, he has asked us individually to carry out some responsibility. But if we are too judgmental or angry how are we going to love? If we never pursue more silence in our lives, how effective will our prayer life be? And if God has asked us to serve underprivileged children, but we haven’t considered that our lack of patience might be a problem, how effective will we really be?

God has something for you to do. He will no doubt provide many gifts in your life to allow for success in your calling but are you doing your part to bring your best to God’s assignments? Have you prepared yourself through prayer, confession, listening to God, worship, and study of Scripture?

An effective Christian is a mature Christian.

 

Photo credit: Jorge Royan

‘I Found God At Work’

Brother Lawrence

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Brother Lawrence did his work without complaining or grumbling. His work was as a kitchen aide in a monastery in France. Most of his life at the monastery was spent working in the kitchen; not as a superior but as a lowly kitchen hand who washed dishes and lived in obscurity. He died in 1691 but no one other than his brothers in the monastery seemed to notice. It wasn’t until after his death that a series of “maxims” and conversations were recorded and presented as the book “The Practice of the Presence of God” that Brother Lawrence gained notoriety.

Brother Lawrence lived in a world, as we do as well, where certain positions and jobs have more significance than others. He lived in a world, as we do as well, where certain religious practices “matter” while others mean very little. But the genius of Brother Lawrence was his ability to find God in the ordinary.  “Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?” He later says that it is enough for him to “pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.”

While we look at our work and chores as hindrances and distractions from other, more noble, pursuits, Brother Lawrence looked at his work as the most noble and spiritual exercise that he participated in each day . He found God in a kitchen, among the plates and cups and leftovers. Perhaps we need to take a cue from Brother Lawrence and bring our faith into our work and seek His presence, even in the most mundane and ordinary.