Work Meditations - Series Title Image

Bread for the Journey

In the old hymn we sing:
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

The place where we “tarry” in the hymn is “the garden”—a metaphor for prayer, and a good one. The writer suggests that we walk with Jesus in a place lush with beauty, reminded of God’s care in the roses and the melody of birdsong.

But consider where the hymn was written. It came from the pen of C. Austin Miles, a pharmacist and editor, whose great-granddaughter asserts that he wrote it “in a cold, dreary and leaky basement in Pitman, New Jersey that didn’t even have a window in it let alone a view of a garden.”

Work is like that. We want to hold the world of beauty in our hearts, but we find ourselves in a leaky basement, a sterile elevator, a windowless office. Even if we enjoy working in a setting of natural beauty, work itself imposes more scurrying than tarrying, more urgent productivity than quiet contemplation.

Evangelism at Work

When I talk with other Christians about evangelism, the practice of sharing the good news of Jesus, I find that the topic can spark anxiety. People are often confident about how not to do evangelism, but not about how to do it in a way that makes sense for their context. For most of us, the main context where we get to know people of different spiritual perspectives is at work. But the challenges of guilt, awkwardness, and timidity can hold us back from starting spiritual conversations that count with our coworkers. What could it look like to share our faith in the workplace in a way that’s joyful, emotionally intelligent, and confident?

Hard-wrought Joy

It is the joy of Jesus himself that we enter into as we abide in his love. This is the work of the Spirit. It is not a joy that we manufacture; it is a joy that we receive. And, just like Jesus, we enter into it through laying everything down at God’s feet. We die with Christ, and we share in his resurrection life.