Incarnation, 9-to-5

Today I’m taking a time-out from my Scripture paraphrase work, because something else has been on my mind…

I spend 40 hours a week in computer systems administration, plus some desktop publishing.  The organization I work for provides Continuing Legal Education for attorneys working in the natural resources industry.  In other words, our job is to help both Exxon and Greenpeace obey the law.

My job doesn’t give me the idealistic thrill that I got from, say, being a pastor.  Deep in my heart, I yearn to preach for 10 hours every day, sleep, and then get up and do it again.   But instead, I spend most of my time re-installing Windows and making documents look pretty.

But, I am happy.  This is a big deal for me.  Most people know me as an idiosyncratic-but-happy guy, but I’ve really never BEEN that guy.  My 33 years of life so far have been dominated by an all-pervading sense of dissatisfaction.   But now something is changing — Much of the time, I find myself feeling happy.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but it’s amazing to me that my JOB is part of it.

Number One, I’ve discovered I don’t need to save the world.  The Messiah job is taken.  It’s hard for me to believe that I was a pastor for 7 years, but didn’t really believe that.  I was orchestrating evangelism campaigns, but needed to be evangelized myself.

Number Two, I’ve discovered I don’t need to prove myself to anyone.  I’m not a loser who has to over-achieve in order to earn admiration so I can feel good about myself.  I’m just John, and I’m making a living. And I like John. I really do.

Number Three, I’ve discovered that my 40 hours a week are a full participation in the Triune Life of glory.  This floors me, and honestly, I’m still struggling to believe it.  Jesus and his Papa and their Spirit could just snap their fingers and conjure up everything humans need to live.  But instead, they’ve chosen a different path, a path they consider glorious.

As humans bound to the Incarnate Son, sharing in Triune Life every day, we find ourselves in a universe full of useful stuff.  Our planet is chock-full of useful elements like oxygen, iron, water, and useful carriers of energy like sunlight, biomass, wind, underground heat, radioactive rocks, and fossilized hydrocarbons.  Leaving aside the question of wise and unwise ways of using these energy sources, these are all gifts from Papa’s hand.  To use these gifts wisely is to participate in the Triune Life incarnate in the world.

For 40 hours each week, I work to help people extract and process these resources in ways that are fair, profitable, and sustainable.  Honestly, we’re not very good at it (especially the last one), but we’re working on that.  In his own inexorable way, the Spirit is teaching us what’s wise and what isn’t.  And I’m a part of that.

I can no longer denigrate my job as “whoring for The Man.”  There is no evil “Man” out there who is outside the Triune Life, working evil schemes outside of the flow of Triune Love.  Sure, there are many who try, but none who succeed.  I can take comfort in that, and I can take pride in being part of the Incarnation.

Time to go re-install Windows, and beautify another document.  In Jesus name, Amen.

~ John Stonecypher

3 comments so far

  1. Don Hussell on

    If only all of mankind could come to believe their lives are part of the triune life and their lives can be full of worthwhile if they could only open their eyes and see….very good because it relates to what is normal and everyday…..keep up the good work….

  2. Kel on

    I am priviledged to watch this process of John becoming John. I like it, and him. Good on ya John.

  3. Ben on

    Way to go!


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