As I’m leaving my company and engineering I’ve thought a lot about the importance of redeeming your time at work, especially for Christians. We’ve all seen too much Office Space and The Office to view our cubicle environment as boring, but lately I can’t help but see the immense value in people seeking to be excellent at their job, whether white color or blue collar not just for their own success, but for the welfare and success of their city.
Imagine living in a city where each individual pursued excellence in their work and sought a better quality of life for their city through their job. If in every field of work, whether it be politics, custodial services, the arts, teaching, or the granddaddy of them all, engineering, every individual thinking of how their work improves the quality of life and betterment of their city.
Imagine if politicians weren’t concerned solely with their re-election campaign, but saw their efforts to seek the betterment of their local neighborhoods and cities as their re-election campaign. If the waste services company took pride in keeping neighborhoods and streets clean, if engineers focused on partnering with neighborhoods and municipalities to genuinely improve the transit system while building the success of their firm. If planners and businesses, in addition to choosing locations for success, sought locations that improve the economic condition of the poorer neighborhoods & sought to develop rather than gentrify the area.
Wouldn’t you want to live in that city? Shouldn’t that motivate us to action? The desire to live in a city where every working environment and neighborhood sought the benefit of the whole through cherishing and valuing their individual work deeply rather than valuing it as much as the paycheck or the value given to it by the world!
Sure it’s idealistic, but as a Christian, I can’t help but desire to see all things redeemed and restored to a creation that was once described as “very good”. From there, thanks to our destructive ways, society has disintegrated our cities into what they’ve become. But now, in light of the gospel, you get paid as a teacher, lawyer, engineer, or to build TPS reports by your company while being a missionary and advocate for your city.
It’s been amazing to be here in Austin and watch The Austin Stone Community Church cast this vision to their church and see it lead the way in opening the For The City center in St. John’s. I hope their efforts inspire the people of the Austin Stone & Austin to approach their work differently, not simply as a means to a paycheck, but an opportunity to address an area of the city that needs to be redeemed and restored. Until a holistic approach is taken seeking to address the areas we each have influence over, we will not see the restoration that we all wish we would see.