I think discontentment can be a temptation for all of us because griping is so easy and work can be hard. It’s really easy to grumble when you don’t always get the outcomes that you are looking for. I now work on the development side of the technology spectrum from a marketing perspective, and when a day in our lab doesn’t go as we wanted and we have to work on redefining something, I’m tempted to say, “all is vanity.” I have to stop and remind myself that what I’m doing is valuable and worthwhile. Work was given to us in the garden and work was actually a gift before the fall. I must remember that when I’m tempted to gripe and be bitter because that is not the heart of God towards work. It was truly meant to be a gift.
In my particular line of work, I often think about the fact that I was a person who was having health problems, passing out for no reason. I had the symptoms of a stroke as a healthy eighteen-year-old. A medical device greatly changed my life, so I am reminded that if I do my job well then I can help many more people receive the benefits of medical device interventions. That is super motivating for me. And so while again, it’s a little cheesy to say I work for the company that’s literally in my heart, that is true in a lot of ways and it’s a blessing that I get to enjoy my work.
Proverbs 3:3-4 were my first memory verses, which say, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you. Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.” Love and faithfulness are what I’m called to and what I’m doing, not perfectly knowing all the answers but trying to have love and faithfulness be the undergirding of my life. The things that I do give me success ultimately in the sight of the world, but it is for God’s glory why I do those things.
A few years ago, I was in the middle of a transition trying to discern whether or not I needed to make a pivot into a different vocation. As I prayed through it, the Lord brought to mind the story of Lydia in Acts. She was a seller of purple cloth and a woman in the marketplace selling goods and wares. She was one of the first converts in the early church and helped Paul to build his ministry. If I can infer here for a moment, in practical ways, she was leveraging her network and connecting Paul to those whom she knew so that the church could grow. It doesn’t explicitly say that Lydia introduced all of her colleagues to Paul and that she gave him 15% of her revenues, but I think we can see that she was leveraging what she had for the kingdom. That story has always encouraged me.
On a personal level, as a single woman, I relate to this story because we don’t know whether Lydia was married or not, but that wasn’t what was most important about her. As a single woman who doesn’t always enjoy singleness, I see a clear example in scripture of a woman in the marketplace who had a business and also built up the church. Oftentimes the temptation is to believe that I don’t have a place in the church because I’m single, and most of the women my age at church are married and have families. When I ask myself where I fit, I remember Lydia as an example of a businesswoman who was about building up God’s kingdom while she stewarded her business.