A few days ago, I asked three questions about the nature of work. I want to try and tackle the first question: is there such a thing as a perfect job?
I think it’s easy to answer that question with a simple “no.” The mere fact that I spend time mulling through this question in my head (and on my Apple laptop, provided by my job) shows my own American arrogance. I was born in a country, in a family, in a social strata where most of my work will take place within my head. I have the privilege of spending most of my day simply thinking, while so many in the world labor simply to put food on the table. Is there a perfect job? Yes. I have it. And probably, so do you.
But, if that’s true, and we all do have the perfect job, why do I (and I would venture to say you, too) spend time thinking about what else it might be? I think we can dive a little bit deeper. Lets get on the same page with what I mean about the word “perfect.”
What does the word mean? If you look it up on dictionary.com, which I did, you’ll see the first two definitions are the ones we all probably think first: conforming absolutely to an ideal, or beyond practical or theoretical improvement. You don’t have to be a Christian who believes in original sin or a computer scientist to admit that this world is far from ideal; and that everything can always undergo improvement. Just look at the iPhone 2, 3, 4 and… maybe 5?
A friend who responded to my post suggested that perfect in this discussion probably means a job that satisfies more than it frustrates. I agree, and I also think it’s something more like the third place finish on dictionary.com: Perfect means Exactly fitting a need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose. Is it possible that I was created to exactly fit a certain purpose?
I have to say yes. Ephesians 2:10 confirms that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. You and I were both created for something. And I think we feel it. And so we go around asking questions like what is the perfect job for me.
Paul said God has prepared work for us. Plain and simple. I think over the past three years, I’ve been reading that verse, and then thinking: if God created me for a certain purpose, how do I figure out what that purpose is? How do I find out Gods will?
This morning, after many conversations on this idea, and thinking over it all… I thought… maybe God’s will is His to reveal, and not mine to decipher. Maybe God is bigger than I’m giving Him credit for, and his plan allows me freedom! The Lord has been good to me, and so rather than wringing my hands wondering what his plan is… maybe I should just rest in the fact that I am right in the middle of it.
So what do you think?
Return to your rest, my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
** Special thanks to Patrick Gibson, Brad Barnes, Adam Duncan, and Neal Carpenter for pointing out my own arrogance, and helping me sort this all out.