By Fletcher Lowe, reprinted from Living God’s Mission.
Over the years in the parishes I have served, I have been visiting members where they work. The conversations usually go: What do you do here? What is the Sunday/Monday – the faith/work – connection with what you do here? This latter question is, for most all of the church members, the first time that question has been raised for them. Yet where they work is the place where they spend most of their God-given time and talent. What an indictment of the church!
Here are the words of one businessman, David Wofford, I visited. The words he wrote (pre COVID-19) describe his “Aha!” to that second question:
Excuse me? Faith at work? I’m not a priest or a rabbi. It’s not my job to heal the sick or mend broken souls. I’m just a “used-bond salesman.” These were my initial thoughts when Fletcher said he wanted to visit me at work to discuss faith at work.
Upon his arrival, Fletcher surveyed my work area. The space is a large trading floor with people sitting in front of several monitors blinking price action in the bond market. Everyone sits almost elbow to elbow and it can get a bit loud. The two of us then moved to an office for a little privacy. I tried to explain that the atmosphere in my office was closer to that of a fraternity house and not exactly like a place of worship. We work hard, do a good job, and at the same time, have a lot of fun. More often than not, that fun is similar to the fun we had in elementary school.
After asking for more details about my job, Fletcher thought a bit and he said something that opened my eyes. My faith was all around me. It is there when I try to help my accounts meet their goals with honesty and integrity. If they are down, I try to cheer them up or put them at ease. The camaraderie with my colleagues is also a part of my faith. Many of us have worked together over twenty years in a very stressful occupation. We share lots of laughs. We pull together when times are tough. Another salesman and I like to read “Forward Movement” online during down time. There is also an email I receive from Fletcher entitled “On the Job Prayers.” I pass that around to some in my office to help alleviate some of the stress during the day.
I park across the street from my office. Each morning there is a little ritual on my walk. I thank God for my great family. I ask for him to help me be a better father and husband. I thank him for the opportunities I have and the friends around me. I ask for his help when times are rough or a friend is in need. I thank him for the sunshine or the rain. God walks me to work – and everyone in the office says I only park across the street because I’m a tight wad and can save $30 a month!!
Faith at work? Even for a “used-bond salesman”? Believe it or not it can happen.