For the last couple of days, Geoff, Brent, Nathan O’ Bryon, and I have been attending a learning community sponsored by Made to Flourish - a pastor’s network emphasizing the importance of our work as worship, and how our work also serves the common good and the flourishing of the city.
Our first two conferences were in Kansas City, but this week we have been in Chicago. Trinity Palos was supposed to host the opening session Thursday morning. However, due to the weather, one of our keynote speakers had her flight cancelled.
As I sat in my office at 4:40pm Wednesday getting the church ready, I received a call from the Melissa Emerson, Made To Flourish’s Event Coordinator. Since Trinity Palos does not have WIFI, without a morning speaker, the first day was going to be partially scratched.
The events that followed are a testimony to the good gifts of God, and how our vocations can be blessing to others.
A quick call to our own Craig Mattson at 4:45pm put me in touch with Brooke Simkins, the Conference & Events Coordinator at Trinity Christian College. Because she is efficient, talented, and willing to serve, by 5:00pm she had found us a room to seat 50 people, with WIFI and multiple digital projectors.
As I left her office at 5:10pm, Brooke promised me that Justin VanderWaal, the Audio & Visual Services Assistant Coordinator (who was trained by our own Dave Jousma) would meet us at 8:30am Thursday to attend to our technical needs.
Thursday morning, everything looked good, until I stopped to pick up coffee for the event. But, as I pulled out of my parking space at the Dunkin Donuts, the cement stopper partially pulled the front bumper off my car.
Nonetheless, at 8:30am Justin VanderWaal (as promised) met myself, and Melissa Emerson, in room 215. As the group arrived and drank coffee, Justin spent 25 minutes getting our streaming video and audio feed up and running, and our remotely operated power point set up on two screens.
At 8:45am, just before the conference started, I snuck out to drop my car off at Kallemeyn Auto Body, just across from Trinity Christian College, where their Collision Repair Estimator, Joseph Chval, told me they would squeeze my car in while I was at the conference.
At 9am sharp, 38 individuals from Chicago and Kansas City were listening to author Dr. Amy Sherman, live from Charlottesville Virginia, talk about the how our vocations were created by God; not just as a means of glorifying God, but also for the blessing others.
The lecture that was going to be scrapped went off remotely, but without a hitch!
As I drove my car home from the conference at 5pm, with a newly re-attached bumper, I marveled at how God gives diverse gifts to all people - Christians and non-Christians alike. While all of those gifts should be used to serve the common good, God’s people enjoy the unique privilege of having our vocations and work offered as worship to God.
I also realized that I live most of my life sadly ignorant and inattentive to the blessing of other people’s work in my life.
Thankfully, in just 24 hours time, God allowed me to personally experience the blessing of vocation and work.
Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!
Serving Christ with you,