When I first came to wireless in 1993, I met a fellow Christian engineer at the cafeteria. He did not have a big C tattooed on his forehead or anything, but somehow the spirit led me to ask if he was a believer. That was the start of a new spiritual sensation for me, that somehow work and spiritual matters did not have to be kept completely separate. This fellow suggested I join his church breakfast bible study, which met during the week. We met downtown on Thursdays from 7am ’till about 8 am, which meant I rolled into work about 8:30 (I was careful to ensure Nortel got the same amount of work plus a bonus to cover the lost time), but the whole experience of discussing the Word with fellow believers during a time chunk normally allocated to the work mindframe was new to me and it started a process which God is as we speak improving and developing.
I have noticed that we working folk often keep the two parts of our brain nicely separate during the day – the analytical, problem solving, profit focused part must be kept away from the singing, worshipping, humble, love your neighbor, Christ focused part. Christ called this hypocrisy but it is a reality to some degree for us all. And I am realizing that God wants us to experience the reality of Him being part of both worlds.
The experience of ‘God at work’ can be substantially increased if you meet with fellow believers during the workday. In a recent job at Enterprise, I was fortunate to again be lined up with some believers in the cafeteria who pointed me to a fellowship group that met once a week at lunch time for some scripture and prayer. We would bring our brown bags, meet new Christians, listen to some scripture and finish up with some prayer. One of the most interesting aspects of this interaction is your state of mind in a given surrounding. I can remember one prayer meeting where in the same day I had a high level meeting in the boardroom on a work issue involving some senior people and money issues, I later met in the same room with my brothers and sisters in Christ to discuss things of more eternal significance. I found it started to be easier to hold Christ’s kingdom before my eyes while dealing with Corporate issues because sometimes the issues came up in the same surroundings (sometimes even with one or two of the same players!).
Isn’t this where we must all end up if we are to have any impact for Christ at work – in the world but acutely aware of God’s Kingdom within us and that our true allegiance is to His Kingdom and not this physical one? I think you must repeatedly experience this kingdom in a common physical surrounding for it to become real to you. Perhaps this is one of the problems with ‘Modern Christianity’ – we tend to experience spiritual things in the church setting, or during our quiet time in a personal setting (our prayer closet) and conversely experience hard physical things in the work setting (stress, money focused activities, power motivated actions). Christ wants those two realities to interact, not be kept separate.
It is because of this juxtaposition of the two realities that I am now trying to get a similar fellowship group going here back at Wireless (Calgary). I am sure that ultimately it is very important for believers to find a way to come together at work and encourage each other to remember what is truly important. We have started to meet once a week (Tuesdays) in the early morning (7:30) for 15 minutes just to come together for prayer. Our focus will be for good decisions to be made by those in authority at Nortel, for God to be glorified at work, and for revival to take place among the believers here. So far only three of us meet – but I am certain God will bless this activity, as other believers become aware of the option. I am also certain that experiencing spiritual things in the work setting will only make God’s work of change inside my heart that more effective.