As God’s image bearers, we are called to work just as God worked in the creation of the world. We often forget that God’s command to perform work was given before Adam’s fall and exile from Eden, not after! The call to work is a vocation and not merely a job. Too often we go to work just for a paycheck and fail to see what God is doing through us.
Martin Luther often spoke of God wearing the mask of our neighbor. Many Christians have long believed that just by serving our neighbors in secular callings, we are serving Jesus Christ himself.
Think of our Lord's words to his disciples about feeding the hungry:
“‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matt. 25:35–40)
In feeding others, we are ultimately feeding Christ. In showing hospitality to our neighbors, we are inviting Christ into our homes. In caring for the poor, we are clothing Christ. In visiting the ill, we are showing the compassion of Christ. These small, insignificant, and unnoticed activities are—in God’s eyes—grand, significant, and noticeable.
When we recognize this, even the most mundane tasks in our lives become opportunities to practice our faith in tangible ways. It's easy to sit in an ivory tower and talk theology, or to want to go off to a foreign country full of adventure to serve Jesus. It’s much more difficult to change diapers, take out the trash, and show up to work on time being fully present each day at a demanding, tedious, low-paying job.
So the next time you worry about your life not counting, or the next time you think what you do every day doesn’t matter—remember that God says it does. You matter. Your life counts. Your job makes a difference.
So press on in the seemingly mundane events of daily living, because God is working through your life to help others, even when you don’t see how he could possibly be doing so. Your motivation comes not from you but from Jesus Christ himself. So don't just go to work. Live out your vocation!