OUTSIDE IN—Making Sense of the Here and Now

By on August 4, 2016
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By Shawn Dean

I wake up on Monday morning and go to work. I don’t love what I do nor do I hate what I do. It could be much worse and it could be better. Charles Barkley said that he never worked a day in his life…that he always loved what he did and it didn’t seem like work to him. That’s not my world. I know some people live in that world but even entertaining that thought makes me feel left out somehow like a man that God forget to pick an occupation for.

 

“Yes, I am a pirate two hundred years too late. The cannons don’t thunder there’s nothin’ to plunder. I’m an over forty victim of fate, arriving too late, arriving too late.” I do a bunch of what ifs until I’m forced back to earth by a cell phone notification that my bill is due.

 

Then it’s back to work again “puttin’ chicken in a bucket—for the man.” Retirement? Whatever. I’ve got cars, college, weddings and hopefully grandchildren. Retirement? I fantasize about that for ten minutes until it’s, “Shawn—line one.”

 

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve whined to Jesus about this ungratifying, seemingly non-kingdom building grind of a job. Thoughts running around in my head, “Maybe I should be a preacher, maybe I should start a non-profit, maybe I should write a book, maybe I should go be a missionary.” How do I change the world? I want to do something great for God! This kind of thinking—it brings me down.

 

In my mind, there is always better than here. And, that’s exactly what He’s been dealing with me on for the past little bit. The things that I believe about who I am and what I do need fixin’. I once believed that being called to be a pastor was a greater calling than that of a salesman. Not true. I believed that pastors had a right to know Jesus more than other people. Not true again.

 

Between us and you there is a great chasm fixed—I felt like that chasm existed between the secular and the non-secular, between layman and minister. It’s discouraging to hear people who are seemingly living their destiny encourage us to live ours. While we sit there thinking about our nine to five, the words ring in our ear about finding our calling in life. It’s always tomorrow, isn’t it?

 

Can a man not be called to pave a street or be a checkout guy at the Kroger? Is he somehow disengaged from Jesus and unable to be used while in this limbo position until he “hears from the Lord about what to do with his life?” Can that not be what he’s supposed to do with his life? Is it impossible for him to change lives when he’s collecting the carts left astray in the parking lot? If it is, then what’s the point of this whole thing?

 

We can’t all be pastor and evangelist, but we can all pastor and evangelize. The same Holy Spirit that lives in our spiritual leaders lives in us too. It’s the same power. It’s the same opportunity. The bible doesn’t exclude the cart guy from healing the sick or raising the dead or from loving people. And, if you knew the details of the life of most pastors, you wouldn’t be impressed. I’m friends with a few. Trust me—they’re people too.

 

The reality of heaven is this. You are where you are right now and where you are right at this time something is supposed to be taking place. That something is that you and I are supposed to be showing the world around us what Jesus looks like in a man…demonstrating the fullness of

 

Christ exactly where our feet are. My destiny is now. This is my calling ‘til it ain’t. Gotta go—line one.

 

Shawn Dean is Regional Sales Manager for Airflo Sales. Inc., located in Ridgeland, MS. He and his wife, Laura Beth, have three children: Isabelle, Ann Mabry, and Mary Frances. They live in Madison.