Do you remember your first job?
I had a slew of them in my younger years.
Biking a paper route when my sister and I were just in grammar school. Making chocolate dipped cones at an ice cream shop one summer. I got fired from a pizza place once, for missing a shift when I had to focus on school work. (Glad that one worked out the way it did.) I spent a day watching our American political process first-hand, as a poll worker during a major election year. I’ve been a waitress, hostess, fast food drive-thru cashier, part-time landscaper, babysitter, customer service phone representative, and in an unpaid volunteer role, a mother of three. (Grin. Anyone else?)
There were varying degrees of responsibility, skill, and certainly passion in every one of those jobs. None of those career paths panned out for me (except for the Momma thing, which I take joy in waking up to every morning). It wasn’t until I’d spent 15 years climbing a steep ladder in corporate America that I finally got it — that a small flicker of a flame ignited an inferno, my heart responded with passion, and my feet began the slow walk of dream-chasing for… something more.
It was then that I began to understand what my job truly is. And I don’t mean vocation here. I mean my job.
My first job as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Then Jesus came to them and said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
—Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
I teach on this verse often.
It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
It’s what’s on my heart if you come to meet me in a book signing line.
It’s pinging through my mind as I walk through airports, as I stroll through bookstore aisles, as I attend conferences and in the soul-heavy moments my feet step up on a teaching stage. It’s with me in every social media post. It’s woven into the very words I’m writing now.
This is the call. The job. The responsibility and first-of-my-heart passion: Be. An. ARROW.
In the scope of political landscapes, and sky-high emotions, and the constant pull to say or do or debate or fight a corner, I’m pulled back to this: the bow of my life changed the moment I gave it away to Christ.
I’m an arrow. Whether I want to or not, my life, my words, my actions and Lord help me — my failures and inaction, will inevitably point to something or someone else.
I’ll reach back, take one of those arrows from the quiver, and let my witness fly. That sharpened tip will land on the bull’s-eye of a target every single time — someone’s newsfeed. Their email in-box. Their ears, if we’re sitting across a feast table. Their heart, if I’ve listened and tried to understand and was willing to reconsider how “right” my view on a matter is. Their soul if I’ve cried and prayed and walked through the valleys with.
The arrow never leaves the bow without landing a target somewhere.
I’ve already answered the “politics-free” zone question, why I’m quiet but not silent on that front. And if it takes another four years, or eight, or eighty, I’m taking my constant supply of arrows in the quiver and pointing them at one target: Jesus Christ.
In 2017, you’re going to get more of that from the Writing Desk. More arrow-pointing. More King of kings, and Lord of lords. More of the Word. And whether it’s pointing through fictional stories, book signings, Verse Mapping, conference teaching, stage speaking, or any other aspect of my job, you can be sure that Who is First, will be first in this place.
I recently tweeted with the hashtag #Ilovemyjob. And I meant it. I do love my job. I love writing for Him. I love responding when His Holy Spirit stirs something in my heart. It’s hard to admit, but in the end, I even love those moments that have broken, humbled, pride-silenced my heart, and made vulnerability a part of my every day arrow-pointing — because the outcome far outweighs the sting in the process.
Why? Because it’s my first job.
It’s my first job to show His love. His grace. To encourage each of us to get into the Word of God, to do the hard work, to research and ask every tough question we have — and know where our arrows point.
As an author, my words point to Him. As a speaker, Him. As a woman, wife, mom, daughter, friend, employee, student, leader, follower, disciple, American, grace-redeemed soul and as a member of this beautiful creation that is the human race — Him.
I’m humbled to let those arrows fly alongside you.
Pointing to Him,