Are you stuck in a rut?  Having trouble dealing with that one person at work that knows just the right button to push, and does it just for sport?  Do you have trouble letting go of the small things that happen throughout your day, so they pile up and stress you out?

I think we have all been in one or all of these situations.  How we handle ourselves and deal with these issues show those around us a lot about who we are.  We all have a bad day; but is every day a bad day?

I worked in the medical field for about 20 years.  People are at their worst when they are sick, and some days you question why you do what you do because it just doesn’t seem to be worth it.  For the past six months I have been working at a school for middle and high school children with learning disabilities.  This has a whole different set of challenges to face on a daily basis.

Many years ago, when I first truly began my walk with God, I came across a Bible verse that has helped me through many difficult days.

Colossians 3 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.                                   Colossians 3:23

In situations when I had a difficult patient or family member, co-worker or supervisor, I would remember this verse.  God gave me the gifts and abilities to remain calm under pressure, to be compassionate and understanding, to be patient and kind.  It is my responsibility to use those gifts to glorify him.  He is always there for me to draw strength from and sometimes the best way to draw that strength is through his word.

So, the next time that co-worker trods across that sensitive spot, remember that God made you who you are and it doesn’t matter what that co-worker thinks.  As long as you are doing your job to the absolute best of your ability and doing it as though you are doing it for God, that is what is important.

Sometimes the solution to the problem is just an adjustment in our perspective.  Whether it is your job, coaching your son’s little league team, being the troop leader for your daughter’s Girl Scout troop, do it as if you are working for the Lord and not for man.  I sure felt more fulfilled and my job was more rewarding when I adjusted my perspective.

All you have to do to change your perspective is decide who you are working for, God or man.

ThreeThree men digging a ditch on a scorching summer afternoon were approached by a friend who asked, “What are you guys doing?” The first, already weary from exertion, responded impatiently, “What does it look like? We’re digging a hole!” The second, sensing that the question was not meant to be rhetorical, added, “We’re laying a foundation pad. It’s going to be filled with concrete.”

The third man, who had been whistling happily while he labored, laid his shovel aside, wiped his forehead, and began to describe in great detail how this particular hole was strategic for the placement of one of the massive flying buttresses that would support an entire wall of stained glass windows for a new cathedral. After describing in great detail the plans and procedures for completion of the structure, which was sure to take several years, he added, “If things go according to plan, on Christmas Eve five years from now my family and I will worship together at the altar where that rubbish pile is now located.”

All three men were working hard at the same task. But their attitudes varied markedly depending on their perspective. The man who maintained the most comprehensive perspective had the best attitude and the most energy. Having a proper perspective enables us to survey a situation and see not just what is happening, but the significance behind what is happening, and the capacity to develop strategies for what needs to happen next. In short Maturity Matters.

The root causes behind our current crisis are complex, but as Christians we must shoulder some of the responsibility. Though individual believers and some communities have found ways to grow and develop, on a large scale the Church has lost some of the capacity to be salt and light in the world. We have not, as the Scriptures command, made growth toward spiritual maturity a primary goal. Disciple building has broken down. When disciple building breaks down, cultures soon follow.

We are again at a pivot-point in history. Will this be our greatest catastrophe or our finest hour? It will depend upon our perspective of God and His Kingdom. Without such a vision, it might be easy to lose hope and become weary in this difficult hour. Are we merely “digging ditches” or are we building something wonderful “to the glory of God”?

What ways are do you see the church digging ditches?  Do you see places in scripture that call us to a bigger vision?