Monday, January 14, 2008

" . . . Sometimes Use Words"

I'm applying for a new job. I feel that I can announce this on the internet now, because most people know about it, and I don't think either of my managers really expect me to stay at Starbucks forever, especially now that I'm not planning to go into management myself.

Here's the thing, though. I have never exactly had to apply for a job. Mostly everything I've done in my life has happened because I thought, "That would be cool to do," and then I've gone to the place I thought would be cool to work at and talked to some people, and they've said, "You want a job?" After which point, the application and resume are kind of a formality.

Which means my resume is kind of feeble.

So I have a couple of friends who have been helping me tweak it over the past, say, six months. A couple of nights ago, one of them said, "You might want to leave out the missionary part--if you want to apply to a secular school it's unlikely they'll even look at your stuff once they see that."

I got all huffy about this and pompously protested that to leave such person-forming information off my CV was Not Me and I would rather remain unhired than stoop to such dissembling. (That isn't really what I meant, but I fear that's probably how it came across.) I'm still not convinced that leaving such information off completely is really the tack for me to take, just because five and a half years in London really was character-forming and gave me some useful and transferable experiences. However, this is not my point.

My point is that I started wondering about how necessary it necessarily is to let all and sundry know that I am a Christian right off the bat. If I went back to traditional missionary-dom, there are some countries where it would take a long time before I knew who I could share such information with at all. And it occurred to me that if I waited a bit before spilling these beans, I would probably have to live a little bit better than I do.

If I had any desire to communicate Jesus' love with people without actually talking about Him first, I'd have, for example, to stop getting upset when someone's sense of entitlement encroaches on mine. Better--I'd have to stop feeling like I'm entitled at all. I couldn't slip up and make snide remarks about customers. I'd have to remember that it is the Lord Christ I'm serving, instead of getting annoyed that District-Dan wants the retail shelves rearranged for inexplicable reasons.

You would think I would be more motivated to live like this because I trumpet to the world that I am a Christian. But I think maybe talking about it makes me subconsciously imagine I am making up for any actual and practical failures. Oops. I messed that up . . . but I shared the Gospel once in the last six months. So, you know. It's all good.

But I don't really think it is. I haven't had that many "evangelistic" conversations in quite some time anyway, but I think I'm going to experiment for a little while. I don't want to refuse the conversations if they come up. But I think I need to maybe not consciously look for them for a while. I think I need to focus on letting my light shine before I let my words run away from me.


Scott said...

May God's light shine a path to where you are to go next. And may you walk humbly and joyfully in the direction that he leads.

heather a. goodman said...

I feel ya.
I also think that some of us need to be pushed to sometimes use words. Sometimes I settle into this comfortable place of, well, they'll ask if I'm living it, right? I don't need to bring it up.
And so it never comes up.