The truth is, most of us are constantly trying to build our résumés. Maybe not a paper résumé or a file that we can e-mail to someone, but a list of accomplishments that we are crafting to show everyone that we are of some value in this world. Trying to fill the void in our own souls we ink that list in our minds: “I did this…I made that…I know them…I was recognized by…” – you get the picture.
Working in a church I have gone through seasons where I have buried myself in my office trying to work on something great. The creative ‘service element’. The song that will fit perfectly. The arrangement that will ‘wow’. Before I knew about praisecharts I spent a massive amount of time transcribing music. None of these things are bad. In fact, I find many of them very fulfilling. Most of them are a part of my job requirements and I’m certainly thankful for the ability to do them. However, all of these things have the potential, if I let them, to distract me from something infinitely more important – deep relationships. I can burry myself in my office and write the cleanest chart in the world and not really know any of the people who will end up playing off of it. I can write a hit song (you have to use your imagination here) but not know any of the people who listen to it. I can craft an inspiring sermon but never teach my children to pray, or disciple a single person. And what I am left with? A blank resumé. Why? Because our true accomplishments are not written on a piece of paper but on a heart. Recently I read the following words of Paul to the people in Corinth:
So: we’re starting to “recommend ourselves” again, are we? Or perhaps we need – as some do – official references to give you? Or perhaps to get from you? You are our official reference! It’s written on our hearts! (2 Corinthians 3:1-2)
The tasks are important – in business, at home, and at church. But there are two ways of approaching them. The tasks can be our primary objective with the hope that we will also have time left to pour into people. Or, our work can flow out of our relationship with God and with people. God first, because what can we pour into others that we haven’t first received? Eugene Peterson writes about his role as a Pastor, “My ‘work’ assignment” he writes, “was to pay more attention to what God does than what I do, and then to guide others to find, the daily, weekly, yearly rhythms that would get this awareness into our bones”. (From his memoir “The Pastor”).
Perhaps as we start paying less attention to what we do and more attention to what God does we will begin to understand that we belong already. “I made that…” and “I know them…” will be replaced by “I am made by…” and “I am know by”. We must keep on planning, creating, writing and dreaming. We were made to! But we need to think more about God’s plan, His creating, the story that He is writing and what His dream is for the world than our own. We must find our creativity within His. If that really get’s in our hearts, we will get it into the hearts of others as well. And that is the résumé I’m after. Or, at least, the résumé I want to be after.