Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Workplace Is A Place Of Ministry

It has been many days since I last wrote.  This indeed is a busy time for me with work, church and family.  It seems that there are ebbs and flows to our lives, as far as trying to maintain a "normal" daily schedule.  This is one of those periods of time where the time is packed very tight with ministry, errands and work.  It is a good and productive time, I must add.  But I am sure looking forward to the "slow down" in schedule when it comes.

For the last two weeks, I have been asked to work Saturdays as a supervisor for workers who came in to the office to help the flow of paperwork be kept up to the benchmarks assigned to our office.  It is an amazing process that is used for the census, no matter what different people think about it.  The government is simply trying to gain an accurate count of population at a given time each decade.  I really feel honored to be a part of something so historical as this, something that is done each 10 years.

Again, my workplace has become another means of ministry for me.  I don't "preach" and I don't "judge" those around me.  Simply through my conversation and actions, they see my lifestyle as something of note and worth.  People share intimate pain and thoughts and joy with me in the course of my daily work.  God has brought me more ways to minister than simply through the venue of a church.

For this week, we have worked 6 hour shifts.....from 6 am to 12:30 noon time.  That's why it was important to work Saturdays to get more hours in for the paycheck.  The week prior, we were working again from 3:30 am (yes, early in the morning) to noon for a full 8 hours.  This workplace is very flexible about changing hours because of the demands of the workload.  The fact is, we are winding down and I may only work another three or four weeks.  Then we will see what happens after that.

As a sidenote to those I work with, let me give you an illustration of the relationships that have been made.  Last Wednesday morning I was scheduled to lead the 10-minute devotional Bible study at Coronado Stone manufacturing plant nearby (where I used to work).  I was at the Census office, getting ready to go and my car would not start.  I immediately went into the office and announced that I was having car trouble and "could I borrow someone's car?"  A young 20-year old Hispanic man gave me his keys with no hesitation.  It showed me again how God provides our needs at any given moment through ways we would not know of.

I drove this borrowed car, a little late because of my car trouble and got caught in a traffic jam due to road work.  I'm a few minutes late to the devotional (but I had called to let them know, so they were waiting), my car wouldn't start, I get caught up in traffic and guess what my devotional is about?  Patience!  I was given the assignment to speak on chapter 1 in the book of James, and "patience" was one of the key topics.  God sure has a sense of humor!

Let me tell you about someone else in my workplace.  One of the lady couriers was talking to me on the phone, and she knows I am a pastor through previous conversations.  She is a Christian and wanted me to know about what God was doing in her life.  She was at a gas station the other day, filling up her tank and saw three young women on the corner with bags of clothes, sitting in the 100-degree heat looking helpless.  She went over to them, found out they had been kicked out of a Sober Living House, and were praying in their own little circle.  My friend (the courier) found out their circumstances and took them immediately to a local motel and paid for two days.  She said that God had recently blessed her with some money she was not expecting, and she knew this was what she was to do to help the women in their desperate times.  This touched me, as this lady shared the story with me.  I was blessed just to hear about her act of kindness and mercy.  I see it more and more, and that's a joy.

I am getting to spend more time with the Manager of the entire office, in my "doings and goings" with my job.  We have developed a deeper friendship, and he has given me favor and personal plaudits for my work.  It has been quite rewarding of late.

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