The world of work

The world of work

As we move into the world of work, how can we keep focussed on God and live to honour him?

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Jo Tatum

Jo Tatum

Jo is an ordained Minister in The Church of England. She was ordained in 2012 having lived a 'normal' life beforehand! She has worked in the airline business and in makeup and beauty, before she felt her call to leadership. She continues to be a high flying, lipstick wearing, beauty...Just in a collar! She enjoys long walks, wine and a healthy dollop of reality. 

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The Big Story #6: God's Church

The Big Story #6: God's Church

Rounding off our big Bible overview we look to the conclusion of the story and what we need to do to get there. God has chosen us to play a part in it, but how? What does it mean to be God's church?

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The Big Story #5: God's Son

The Big Story #5: God's Son

It all points to Him, everything that had come before, the promises, the prophecies, the people. Here we reach the climax of God's story in a person, God's son, Jesus Christ. We don't understand him until we see how he fits into what's come before.

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The Big Story #3: God's Kingdom

The Big Story #3: God's Kingdom

Look around the world and we see kings, presidents, leaders who are very much flawed. Israel had a king - God, but they wanted a human king. We look at how that worked out for God's people.

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The Big Story #2: God's People

The Big Story #2: God's People

God's story is both cosmic in scope and intimate in care, we see that as he chose to fulfil his purposes in a family. But why did God choose Abraham and the people of Israel to be the ones who would be a blessing to the whole world?

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The world of work

Growing up I thought mainly about myself, what my personal outcomes were going to be, I lived pretty much in the moment

Someone wrote ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’. Well, like me you may well, particularly at this time of year, be full of good intentions, new rationale for eating healthily, running 5k with out oxygen. There may be some for whom these new years intentions run deeper, maybe you feel like you are not reading enough Bible, or praying enough, or the real big one ‘making a difference’.

Growing up I’m afraid I didn’t have too many high ideals, I thought mainly about myself, what my personal outcomes were going to be, I lived pretty much in the moment, with very hazy thoughts about one day ‘settling down’. My most concrete of intentions was that I certainly was not going to do what my parents had done! I wasn’t sure what was missing from their lives, but I knew that there was a lack of something!

Going to a ‘good’ school seemed to be a passport to a good living, however not being particularly academically minded meant that I floundered when I had to do more than just show up. I loved hanging out in the common room and I was sought out as a shoulder to cry on and a fun friend to have.

I left school prior to my A levels and went to work full time on the hairspray counter at the huge new Boots the Chemist

But of course, that doesn’t pass exams and so instead of continuing to submit the school myself and family to the ritual humiliation of failure, I left school prior to my A levels and went to work full time on the hairspray counter at the huge new Boots the Chemist.

Really this was just a continuation of my Saturday job, this was before the days of rigorous interview systems and a luminous CV, you could just ask for work, and the management would say yes or no, depending on how they felt on the day.

Until the day I came to faith. Suddenly I knew that my life had purpose.

And that is pretty much how life continued job-wise for me, not on the hairspray counter but a very ‘que sera’ strategy to my career path. It carried me from retail, into an airline, on to another island to live and work. Until the day I came to faith. Suddenly I knew that my life had purpose. I knew that nothing I had ever done, or could do, would ever be wasted in the Kingdom Economy.

Scripture reminds us …

"In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

2 Timothy 2:20-22

I find myself often using life skills and job skills I learned as a teenager on the shop floor

Now in my 50th decade I find myself often using life skills and job skills I learned as a teenager on the shop floor and the years that followed. I learned about self discipline, turn up late too many times, you’d quite simply get the sack, no warnings needed then, I learned that its not always about me, in those long ago times when the ‘customer was always right’. I learned how to think on my feet in a crisis, working behind the bar in a town pub on a Saturday night brings many challenges and I learned too, how, very often you never see the fruit of your labour, as I stood at the bottom of aircraft steps waving and wishing everyone a ‘happy holiday’ and they leaving without a backward glance!

So if you are leaving education, and move into the world of work, or in work that disappoints you, remember that it isn’t only the ‘God jobs’ that make the difference.

It seems that at the heart of the matter is not what you do, but how your heart is when you do it!

It seems that at the heart of the matter is not what you do, but how your heart is when you do it! Whatever we do and wherever we are, God will and can always use us if we let him. We are constantly presented with the opportunity to make a difference and to share the Gospel wherever we may be led.

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