Another Day, Another Denarius
In 1974 Studs Terkel, the writer and broadcaster famous for his “person on the street interviews,” published a book called Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. The book is a compilation of interviews in which Terkel talked to everyday folks about their everyday jobs.
Here is an excerpt from the foreword:
This book, being about work, is, by its very nature, about violence—to the spirit as well as to the body. It is about ulcers as well as accidents, about shouting matches as well as fistfights, about nervous breakdowns as well as kicking the dog around. It is, above all (or beneath all), about daily humiliations. To survive the day is triumph enough for the walking wounded among the great many of us…
It is about a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying. Perhaps immortality, too, is part of the quest. To be remembered was the wish, spoken and unspoken, of the heroes and heroines of this book.
That balance, the one between working a job and pursuing a vocation, can be difficult to find. It’s difficult to find meaning and a paycheck, so most of the time, we settle for the paycheck. But sometimes we’re lucky enough to realize that we have both. We realize the job we are doing we weren’t meant to do. We realize that our job is about something bigger.
This Sunday, we’re going to look at a passage in Acts that talks about Paul’s job. And his profession was not just preacher or missionary. Paul was trained to work in a trade, and, had it not been for that trade, he wouldn’t have been able to do the work that we know him for.
God used Paul’s work, a somewhat menial job, to accomplish great things. Perhaps he wants to do something similar through whatever it is that your job happens to be right now.