Three years ago I was in the Facebook headquarters in NYC doing a live-chat with an author who just released a new book. At the time I was working in PR for a Christian publishing company, which primarily involved scheduling media interviews for authors. Not all of the people I worked with were names you’d recognize, but a few were. I interacted with pastors and motivational speakers who had national platforms of influence and who impacted millions.
I felt like my job mattered, and I was doing big things for God. No one works in publishing for the pay, but I was willing to sacrifice, knowing I was literally making a difference in the world.
This reminds me of a message I’ve heard from the church: Live as a sold-out, on-fire, extreme Christian, one who is willing to move to the other side of the world or sell everything and live in poverty in order to win souls for Christ. Stories of people who took this message to heart litter sermon illustrations and books.
Here’s who I didn’t hear stories about: the man who faithfully worked at a boring job but did it with excellence or someone who sacrificed a high-paying job to work at a local church, teaching children or organizing small groups or leading worship. And I’ve yet to read a book that highlights the quiet faith of lives well lived without a national platform or millions of Twitter followers.
Two years ago I was living with my parents while I was planning my wedding. I was working for a small non-profit, writing grants and scheduling Facebook posts for a page with less than 500 fans. Compared to my previous job, I wasn’t doing big things for God. I was doing humble work, no less important but significantly less influential. Honestly, it was a hard transition. I missed the rush that came with believing myself to be a world changer.
We’ve failed to communicate the value in working a non-glamorous 8-to-5 job, coming home to an empty apartment and cooking dinner for one. There’s nothing very exciting about spending most of the day in a cubicle and then eating cereal while watching “Stranger Things” on Netflix, but those same singles are making the most of their young adult years by investing in friendships, serving in a local church and faithfully showing up every day to a job that just barely pays the bills.
Most of us won’t get a book deal based on our personal blogs or write a Facebook post that goes viral or even give up everything to move to the heart of Rwanda. Instead, we’ll live humble lives with an influence that extends to our friends and family, and maybe a spouse and children. That’s no less valuable in God’s kingdom and no less powerful of a testimony to a hurting world. Don’t be ashamed of your quiet, small life; instead use that life to glorify God by loving others, helping the oppressed and using your mundane, ordinary faithfulness to speak truth.
Copyright 2016 Ashley Boyer Hendley. All Rights Reserved.