Fruitful Work

Today marks 1 month in Madison!! AND 1 year since I went to Medellín, Colombia last summer. Whoa.

I’m tempted to measure my time here in terms of # of projects I’ve done (1.5), videos I’ve made (3.5), or blog posts I’ve written (4). But no, let’s not make it about numbers and all the DOING; otherwise, it’ll never feel like enough. Rather, I prefer to use Community and Timeless Wisdom as metrics for successful BEING; in which case, my work at 2100 this past month has been very, very, very fruitful. 🙂

Here’s the latest fruit of this season: A fantastic sermon I heard yesterday about demonstrating God in our work – “work” meaning whatever you do, especially your job. (Incidentally delivered by Charles Yu, current Chinese Ministry Pastor at Blackhawk and former InterVarsity staff!)

IN SUM: Let what we do express who God is. Although our work (“what we do”) determines our status in society, God-likeness is actually the highest status we can have. We were originally created in God’s likeness, but lost that identity when humanity turned our back on him. Following Christ is about restoring our God-likeness, recovering the life of God within ourselves that enables us to emulate him. Three motifs characterize how God worked in Genesis, providing a model for how we can emulate him in our own work.

  1. Order out of chaos: Just as God created light from darkness, we can clean up sticky spills in a theater, streamline office operations, and pull together a jumble of ideas into a cohesive essay.
  2. Creation of space for human life to flourish: The world needs Gardeners of Eden. From environmental engineers and construction workers, to songwriters and storytellers, people must establish physical space and mental space to breathe, grow, think, feel, and be creative.
  3. Stewardship of God’s creation: Handle everything we’re given with care, and never forget who  it belongs to.

This framework helps me to see that Storytellers (1) communicate a cohesive story from a wealth of image, sound, and message elements, (2) create a conversation space for meaningful reflection and relationship, and (3) honor the human experience, taking care to respect every story they have the privilege to tell (ideally).

CHALLENGE: How do these three motifs show up in your work? Like the story of this florist, what video would you make about your work? What shots, music, and dialogue would you use? Write out your script this week – and if you want, actually make it. I plan to do the same.

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