Your Lofty 'Career'

 

Nobody really remembers Thomas Edison's job. It had not the slightest impact upon our world. And today, it is of no consequence whatsoever. But, just for your information, he was a telegraph operator; you know: "dash-dit-dash-dash  dit-dash  dash-dit-dit  dit-dash" all day long. 

It was Edison's career, not his job, that lit up the world! We would be reading our Bibles by the light of whale-oil lamps today if it weren't for the career of this inventive genius. 

There is a vast difference between a job and a career. Jobs just keep the world going. Oh, don't get me wrong, we desperately need the world to "keep going"; we need everybody to do their jobs. But—oh!—careers! They turn the world upside down! 

Christopher Columbus was a weaver. Did you know? Can you imagine our world if he had only done is 'job'?  Shakespeare was a valet; tending horses for the rich who arrived at the theater in London, long before anyone wanted to see his plays performed! 

Copernicus worked in a barber shop. J.P. Morgan was a clerk in a country store. Lincoln was a lumber worker. 

No one remembers the jobs these men held...but—goodness!—who will ever forget their careers? 

Our dictionaries do a good job of distinguishing between the two terms:  

JOB: a duty, role or function; an undertaking with a view to profit. 

CAREER: one's calling or life-long pursuit; a passageway or thoroughfare to be traveled. (Yes the old English word meant "path" or "course of travel". It has the root word "car" in it). 

Most of you have jobs or are retired now from important jobs that our world cannot do without. 

But did you now that you also have a 'career'? Oh, yes you do!—no matter what your job might be right now; even if it's the lowliest job in the world. You have a "career" dear child of God and—oh!—is it ever a lofty one!

You are called to be a follower of Christ and a fisher of men! Is there really any higher calling? Go through the pages of Fortune magazine, or of any Who's Who you might find, and take every career down a notch to make room for your own, dear Christian! 

Jesus Christ calls us today, just as He called those very first Disciples. It is a wonderful call, with an even more wonderful promise: "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."  Mk 1: 17  That, is your "career" dear Christian! 

I don't know how you feel about it, but I find it exciting. And you don't have to be a preacher or an evangelist to find it exciting. I think it should be exciting for every Christian. 

Most people want their lives to count for something; to make a difference before they depart; to have some positive influence in this world and —man!—does this sad, fallen world ever need it! 

Don't forget the one important warning about this new career of yours. Everybody must learn it: You will never be a good fisher of men as long as men see you! 

I will never forget my very first efforts to fish with a flyrod; decades ago now. I was walking a beautiful stream up in the Ruidoso Mountains, in eastern New Mexico. The stream was just loaded with trout; you could see them in every pond, biting on the surface. 

But after hours of casting and retrieving, I had not a single strike! Later that evening, at a local sporting goods store, I complained to the clerk about my lack of success. "Did you see the trout?" he asked. "Yes," I replied, "I saw plenty of them."

"And what were you doing, just standing there on the shore?" "Well, yes, why? Where else could I be?" "That's the whole problem," came his reply. "The trout saw you!"

Really? I'd never thought of that! Trout, you see, are very smart creatures. They have brains the size of a pea, but they're ten times smarter than this brain I have! 

The next day, I went back up to the creek, kept behind the bushes as I crept up to the first pond, kept myself hidden behind a big boulder and cast out the same fly I had been drowning the day before and...

Bam! I couldn't believe it! Two seconds! 

Listen, dear Christian: you will never be a good fisher of men, as long as men see you! But when they see Jesus, oh!—what a powerful lure that can be! 

 I love the reply Billy Graham once gave when a reporter put this question to him: 

"Mr. Graham," he started in, "so many people in our country admire and respect you. How have you managed to keep their respect all these years of your life?" 

Billy's answer was sheer perfection: "There is only one person whose respect I  need; only one person whose opinion of me really matters in this life, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ." 

How is your "career" coming along—do you mind if I ask? Are you living for the respect of your Savior? Or the World? When people look at your life, what do they see? Do they see you? Or do they see your Savior? Do people see the evidence of his presence in your life? Oh, if so, then you have a wonderful "career" underway! You'll be a "fisher of men" all right! 

 I love worshipping with you every week. Just put away the week and all the news (aren't you glad it's over at least?) and come join us! 

 

See you there!                                     RAS

Be An Out-of-Place Christian
Me...Under the Lamb and Other Things