Dakota Community Church
July 15, 2007
As you will have heard by now I am a fan of Dilbert creator Scott Adams. I get his comic in my e-mail every morning and I rarely miss reading his blog. Adams claims that his “gift” is the ability to “look at complicated situations and pluck out the thing that matters”. He goes on in this particular post to describe as an example a cartoon he is working on to describe the job of VP of marketing. He came up with this: See PowerPoint slide 2. (My brother is a VP of marketing)
I think it says something about our world that so many people can identify with this character that is stuck doing pointless work for a nameless corporation. Why are so many of us so cynical? Why can we so easily identify with this character and the frustrations he endures toiling in anonymity?
1. There is greatness within us.
The reason we identify with Dilbert is because we feel he is like us – somehow life is a disappointment, somehow we were meant for more. We are too smart, too gifted to have to do the things we do for money. We know that this can’t be what God had in mind when he said:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
We read these things, we identify with them, something deep within us resonates with a realization that these things are true – and then we live the way we live. It just does not seem right.
Are these really the days you ordained for me? Did you really take the time to write this in your book?
- Moron bosses
- Lazy co-workers
- Explosively angry associates
- Marketers, interns, evil directors of HR.
What does any of this have to do with God’s plan? Is there a way of escape?
2. Most must do something else to pay the bills.
We have spent the last couple of months looking at the differences between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God.
Because we are so tied to this world’s kingdom, we must operate within its framework if we want to enjoy its standard of living.
Very few people will get to live the life they want to live and use their God given gifts and talents to get paid. How many that want to, have the option of staying home with the kids, not many if you want to bring the kids up in suburbia. How many can write for a living or paint or sing and do music? Most must do something else to pay the rent.
Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
“To accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift of God.” – A rare one I would say.
Even those who do get to do something they love, find that there are elements of it that they do not like or that they must endure for the sake of the rest.
I love pastoring, love preaching and preparing, mostly enjoy counseling. Can’t stand the whining! Drives me crazy when people ignore the truth, do the thing I warned them not to do and then cry on my shoulder about how they never knew it would be like this. I want to grab them and slap them and say, “You did know – I told you six month age!”
"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Some of the time we will need to go on faith, to endure “troubled” days just because we know Jesus has overcome the world.
3. Never let go!
You know a lot of the issues we deal with in the transformational Christian experience might not be that big a deal if all we were going to do was live for 70 or 80 years, but we are eternal. We need to change because this is not all there is. We will be that which God has created us to be and we will be it for ever and ever without end. Don’t quit on your eternal self because the temporal world is not agreeing with it! Find a way and make the time to grow and nurture it. Get rid of time wasters and invest in the dream, fellowship with God and follow His directives – He is working on a long range plan!
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
Sometimes we feel like we are treading water, caught between a God ordained passion and a necessary employment.
At times we can become so frustrated that we want to quit altogether. We want to just give up on the dream because we cannot put our all into it.
We can begin to feel trapped by the circumstances of life, as though we are stuck in a place we never wanted to be.
These are the times we must not let go!
Hear it Preached: www.dakotacommunitychurch.ca and click "Listen".
PowerPoint available (Free of charge) on request firstname.lastname@example.org