24 October 2007

There Is No Fence!

Sometimes I envy those who are pastors, counselors, writers and all other kinds of full-time Christian ministry. It's odd that I should feel this way because I often chide fellow Christians for asking that annoying question: 'I wonder if I should go into full-time ministry'.

Not that I have the slightest objection to Christian ministry and being paid by the church for it. It's just the dichotomy and exclusivity that kind of question comes from that I don't agree with. My stock answer is: We're all full time Christians, and everything we do under the sun is service and worship to God. The difference is technical - a matter of who issues your paycheck. After, all our salaries come from the one God who Provides, and every Christian has a mutually inclusive responsibility both to the world and to the church. The world is God's creation we are appointed caretakers of, and the church is the gathering of His redeemed. Full-time, part-time, or no-time our calling is the same.

So I'm annoyed at myself for looking over the fence jealously, coveting the greener pasture of undistracted gospel-teaching and spiritual-nurturing.

The problem, I guess, lies with the atmosphere that surrounds what we do: the work that isn't church-related is all about making money, tainted with all the unbridled ambition, self-realisation/self-assertion/self-exaltation in the world; and church-related work is all about self-sacrifice, humble service, and oh-so-holy. This is again a false dichotomy and I just have to dismantle this wrong perception and baggage that comes with role-stereotyping. When we cast our roles in almost dark vs light and good vs evil tones, we encourage endless hand-wringing and agonising over our every life choice.

My job at the hospital and university can and should be a sacrificial expression of servanthood and holy - set apart for God. Church-related work is not impervious to selfish motives. and ugly ambition. But both are important, and constitute one life under one God.

So,.. stop looking over the fence, I tell myself. THERE IS NO FENCE, for God's sakes (pun intended). It's all one pasture under God, and how green it looks depends on what I make of it and how I look at it.

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments: