The work we do, all of us, has several facets to it and here are at least three: public, hidden, and confidential.
Many of us do work that is occasionally public. We may not have fifty bosses, but we may hear fifty perspectives. If this is you, then your work is observed, critiqued, appreciated and absorbed because you are, in some way, in the spotlight. You are the surgeon whose name is on the docket, or the pilot in command, or the lead attorney, or the teacher or preacher. Some of what I do is public and my public role is central to my work in that no matter what else I may do during a week, come Sunday and Wednesday I am expected by our Elder Administrative Board to present Biblical truth in a prepared way – no excuses.
In addition to public work, there is also the hidden work that we do. By hidden I don’t mean secretive, it’s just the work of preparation in advance of the big meeting. It’s the hidden work of meetings, planning, dreaming, emails, phone calls, prayer, research, etc. For some of you hidden work is the principal nature of your job in that what you do is almost all behind the scenes (and therefore often overlooked and underappreciated). Quite frankly, you’d like an audience every so often.
And then there is the confidential work. Many of you do some work that involves privileged and sensitive information where loose lips may not sink ships but they can complicate lives. I do quite a bit of confidential work. This is the kind of work I can’t talk about because it involves another person’s life and journey. It’s restricted information, not because it involves matters of top-level national security, but because it involves sacred information to that one person. They trust me enough to have a conversation and that is huge to me. And so there may be times when you ask what I did this afternoon and I’ll just say something generic like, “oh not much, just some general preacher type stuff” and then move on to another topic.
Here’s the deal. Your work, whether public or hidden, is witnessed by God and He pays attention. I work for God and you do too! What an honor! And your job, your work, is an altar upon which God is worshipped. I love the story of the young Mom who had a sign placed over her baby’s changing table which read: “worship services held here several times a day.”
Colossians 3:23-24: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.