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Give us this day our weekly bread…

February 14, 2007

I love my friend’s translation of this phrase from the Lord’s prayer. “Surprise us today with what we need.” Surprise me… I often say that at restaurants and other times when I’m offered two or more good options and it really doesn’t matter much which one. Strawberry cream pie or chocolate cake? Surprise me. House dressing or Italian. Surprise me. Guinness or … that’s taking things too far. Say no more. Guinness please. I do love the surprise though as much or more than I love getting exactly what i want….

But here’s the deal, the real deal… the Kevin bearing his soul a bit deal. I’ve been saying in regard to my business, the panel shop as they call them in New Zealand (hey Fromont!), that I’d love to hold onto it and that it would be a passive income stream down the road and if i could just grow it to a certain point it would support me with minimal demands on me etc. The idea of being bi-vocational (a flawed term I need to wrestle with in another post) is that the income stream shold be a means to an end. Paul made tents when he needed to for financial or strategic reasons. Strategic reasons by the way included things like identifying with other people who worked his trade or another trade or to demonstrate for the lazy that work is one of God’s means of provision. But making tents was always subservient to his higher call, his mission to proclaim truth to Gentiles and start churches. For me it has felt like too much attention and energy and time and resources have gone into the “means” and I’m not really seeing the “ends” or for that matter, the “end” of working the “means.” All that to say perhaps i need a gut check re: my thinkng my stance toward my business. I do not want it to consume me and owning a business can be consuming. i do not want it to enslave me. I’m working so that i will have resources and freedom to pursue that ‘higher call.’ And (to get to the point of this post and tie it back into the daily bread idea) I do not need it as a security for my future. i have God for that and he is God who provides daily bread, a God who surprises us with what we need for each day and does not require us to secure our own future. All the worry I’ve done regarding provision in the past seems slightly rediculous in the light of the fact that i have never missed a meal or gone a day without clothing or spent the night on the street… that begs the question: What about those who have? That will take another post… all i can do for now is speak out of my personal experience and say “Thanks for the daily bread!”

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    February 14, 2007 2:30 pm

    Kevin,

    I can relate to your comments here. A few years ago I was thinking about the work that I do, and lamenting the fact that I mostly disliked it. And I was (and still am) on a big social justice kick and felt kind of “wrong” in some ways for working in the corporate world and just perpetuating this materialistic culture, and continuing to buy into the programming that I was being fed.

    In short, I wanted to “check out” of my life, and I wanted to find time to do more things that interested me ministry-wise. No, I didn’t want to go to seminary, I think I’d go crazy there anyway debating over various endless controversial topics. I just wanted to actually have time to care about my neighbors, actually have the time to notice someone on the street and be able to care for that person without knowing I was going to be late for something “important”.

    I thought long and hard about it, prayed about it, and thought that I wanted to find a job that paid well and was task-oriented, something where I could at least feel like I was helping people, but NOT something that I would end up being psychologically codependent on other people for my own well being (a recurring problem of mine). Something with fixed hours that would allow me more time to “schedule” days where I could just help people and meet needs.

    That is why I started nursing school about a year and a half ago. Gandhi was a nurse before he was a lawyer. Dorothy Day also was a nurse for a couple of years.

    I thought that nursing (something both of my parents do) would be good for me, give me parameters that by nature would be humbling, given that the doctors make most of the calls, and it would put me at the bedside with lots of different people who need physical care.

    I graduate from this little two year program in July. I tell you what, nursing school is a REAL butt kicker, and has been MUCH harder that I thought it would be! Going to school and doing clinicals and still workinh has NOT been easy.

    We will see after I graduate if things will work out like I’d hoped. I do plan on working 3 12 hours days, which will give me time to focus on other things. As long as I’m not too tired to focus on them.

    I think my thinking may have been a little bit off when I started this nursing journey. Almost everyone can work any job and find ways to pray for others and lift their efforts up to God and be at peace with what they do. So I might find that I end up whining about nursing like I used to do about my current job. But at least in nursing I’m actually interacting with people and have the chance to make a positive impact. Right now I just have a small role in a business unit that ultimately helps people’s cell phone software work better and bill appropriately, and that is soul-crushing work to me.

    Anyway, thanks for expressing your feelings about work and being bi-vocational. I hope to be bi-vocational this summer!

    John

  2. February 16, 2007 12:01 am

    “Hey” right back at you Kev. Enjoyed the recording of you and Chris @ Revolution. Nice to see that your friendship and sense of shared journey has grown and developed since that e-mail of 4 or so years ago…

    And, small point – we call them “panel beaters” down here @ the bottom of the world [winking]…they “beat” that chassis back into shape….

    Have a groovy weekend

  3. February 23, 2007 3:00 pm

    mmmmm…order another round of guiness and let’s explore this big chassis of a topic further (he says with a grin and one eyebrow up)

    😉

    peace

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