By Steve Pavlicek, Bethel Seminary St. Paul
2016 winner of the 100,000 Hours Colloquy!
I will never forget waking up and being thrust into work by the sound of someone screaming and finding that someone had pooped on their chair. After investigating the “crime scene,” I found that it was not only on the chair, but also on the sheets, clothes, floor and the rocking chair. I don’t know about you, but cleaning that mess at 7am, it is fair to say that, I failed to reflect the heart of Christ to my son in that moment. It made me question God’s plan for my life because I felt that I was called to do more than “this.”
Better Days Ahead
You, as well as me at the time, might not see how clearly the connection was to God’s work in this instance, but for me it was a defining moment in my current job role as a stay-at-home father. While I was employed, I merely saw my faith integrated with my work only so far as it related to ethics and evangelism. It was important to me as a Christian to show dignity and respect for my colleagues and to show how Christ informs my worldview. Those are indeed still important in the workplace, but if that is the only focus it fails to consider all of the ways in which one can participate in the activity of God. I was shortsighted when considering that I am playing a role as a witness to, what Amy Sherman refers to as, “a foretaste of the kingdom.” Showing people, including your own children, that God’s plan has always been for us to work and so it brings him glory when we commit our work to him. And like it, another way is to participate with him in our present “vocations” in order to show others what redemptive work will look like in the future.
Kingdom Eyes and Daily Lives
Well, I could not have been more wrong about my calling in this season. It has revitalized and renewed the way I view being a stay-at-home dad. While before these insights, my goal was merely to “survive” until my kids went to bed at 8pm. With Kingdom-eyes I see my work at home as an investment into my children’s lives by reflecting the heart of Christ and to help them see the Kingdom. I show them how to glorify God by my attitude concern all aspects of my work. I commit daily, through prayer, that God will empower me to parent with spiritual fervor, excellence and that the contents of our daily life will bring glory to his name. For him to guide my actions, words and deeds in a way that my children will see how we love our neighbor and to see the joy of work. In this way, I found that I have the most important job in the world; regardless of cleanup duty!
About the Author
Steve Pavlicek is a student at Bethel Seminary focusing his degree on vocational Ministry. He spends his days making peanut butter and honey sandwiches, playing referee and drawing silly things for his kids to color. Personally, he enjoys studying, reading and writing and loves hockey and cycling. He is married to Laura and they live in Northeast Minneapolis with their three kids.
 Sherman, Amy L. Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2011
Post © 2016 Steve Pavlicek, not to be used without permission outside of Work With Purpose.
Image © Manuka | pixabay.com