Right Where We Are
“So, Mrs. Shafer, I have a few questions to ask you about your friend, but before we start, I need your information. Let’s begin with your occupation. What do you do?”
“I’m just a homemaker,” I replied.
“Wonderful! Do you do anything else?”
“I see. Can you think of anything else at all? Perhaps what you did before having children?”
I looked at my interviewer and smiled. “I did teach 10th grade poetry this past quarter and am a regular high school substitute teacher, but I wouldn’t call that my career currently.”
“Great! I’ll put down that you’re a teacher. It sounds better.”
This interview took place at my dining room table by a genuinely kind government agent. She asked all kinds of interesting questions regarding a friend of mine who recently took a position in D.C. and needed final clearance. By the end of the interview, I felt as if I needed final clearance to be considered worth something.
Telling, isn’t it? In this world of never enough, our culture pushes us to create whatever façade makes you look better, sound better, feel better because obviously your current life is not the most attractive. Or how about the other way around? Like throwing the word just in front of our current circumstance as a signal to others we know our vocation isn’t super significant. We all know this is an epidemic and yet how do we break away from its magnetic draw?
A good start is to drop the word ‘just’ in front of what God has called us to do. ‘Just’ minimizes things. It is that tricky word that can drape a cloak over something meaningful and dress it in something that sounds temporary, as if something better is about to come along. In reality, no one is just a homemaker, just an intern, just starting a business and “we’ll see where it goes”, just has one child, just attends community college, just leads a small Bible study. If we truly take the words of Christ to heart, then today is what matters. Tomorrow surely does have worries of its own, but Jesus asks us to follow him today, right where we are. That means that whatever task he has assigned, in whatever capacity, it is the good work he wants us to do. Today.
In my life as a homemaker, I get to experience work God intended that is uniquely its own. It is a beautiful compilation of daily faith, grit, sweat, patience, triumphs and shortfalls. Setbacks happen. Growth happens. Yet, there are no stats or spreadsheets to show for it… save maybe the door frame of the pantry that charts our children’s heights since age 3.
Despite no fancy job title and an ever changing job description here is what I have found in this daily calling: purpose.
And that is precisely God’s design in the work he provides for us. By taking off the discontented cloak the world drapes on us while we just wait for something better, we find God’s intention, his purpose, laid out before us. Right where we are.
Shelly Shafer has a passion for writing when she is not working tirelessly as a mother of two teenage children, working in numerous roles as a highly involved and valuable volunteer for The Geneva School, and working to enable the successful launch of the family’s new business venture, CommonGood Capital with her husband Jeff. Calvin, a black and tan coonhound mix, rounds out the Shafer household.
WHAT WE ARE THINKING ABOUT
PRAYER: For the victims, their families, and the suspect of the Pittsburgh
QUOTE: “God never wastes pain.” —Jerry Bridges