At church right now we're going through a series on the Meaning of Life. I seriously thought it was crazy when the idea came up... because we're based in Ecclesiastes! If you've never read Ecclesiastes, give it a try. It's a little cray cray.
I love it, though. We're going through all these experiments that Solomon, known as the Teacher, does to see where meaning in life happens.
Today, I had the privilege of talking about WORK. Solomon talks about work a lot in Chapter 2.
Basically, he's all depressed because when he dies, he DIES. His stuff goes to someone else who will probably squander it all.
But then he figures out something crazy... there's meaning in life when we recognize that work is a gift from God... because God has a PURPOSE for that work.
I wrote this message and thought it was a neat and tidy little package. And then I got a call at work on Friday (I interpret telephone calls into English and Sign Language) that messed me up for the rest of the day. That was real life. The call emptied me. The only purpose I saw at work was that I HAD to be there to pay the medical bills for my recent surgery.
On my way home, God made me re-examine what I was talking about in church. He's like, "Emily... if you can't process this today, you don't get to talk about it on Sunday." Crap.
So let me tell you about purpose, and the purpose that God has created for me, specifically, in the way in which I earn money.
1) I provide access for individuals to make telephone calls. This is amazing. That the technology is there for the integration of video and voice and that I work REALLY hard to make sure that every call sounds as natural as it can be. The rewards of this are being asked, "Are your parents Deaf?" or told, "I wish you were my interpreter EVERY time!" or "You sounded JUST like my sister."
This is good. It really is. But that is the purpose that God has for EVERY interpreter in my situation.
2) I used to work for the State. I quit my job there without being assured of another job somewhere else (only do this when you are 100% sure this is a leading from God!). Purpose? Trusting God.
I got a job as an interpreter. Purpose? Earning money. Building seniority. Understanding the job. Working somewhere with centers nationwide.
I was able to move anywhere. Purpose? I could move to Las Vegas, still earn money to pay for rent, and be available to serve God in a way in which He's designed me. Leading. Preaching. Administrationing. Creating databases and sending cards and speaking and making friends and talking about Jesus and joining Toastmasters and going to coffee shops and... Everything I'm doing here in Vegas is because of the gift that God has given me.
So even on days when I don't care for my job, or when I have rough calls or callers, or I get flipped off, or have to drop the F-bomb 27 times in one conversation, I know God still has a purpose. And I'm so very grateful for that.