Most of my posts here focus on quasi-scholarly discussions of some pretty narrow topics, but I feel compelled to write of my own ignorance and weakness. I feel increasingly convicted that I am seriously falling into the sin of envy.
By all means I have a great life. I have food, a roof over my head, a wonderful wife, and most importantly a saving knowledge of the Lord. And, when I think about that, how can we complain in any circumstance if we truly believe that all things pale in comparison to the all surpassing love of God made known to us in His Son?
Quite simply, it is only my own faithlessness and rebellious heart that makes me dissatisfied with what I have. Sometimes, I wish I had a different job.
Most of what I do every day, generally six days a week, is organize when cars go into and out of the shop, order parts, diagnose a few things on vehicles, and make customers agree to pay a lot of money for it. On some level I am keenly aware that the need for a salesperson is a gross economic inefficiency, as it does not actually add a service per se, it is an economic inefficiency akin to advertising.
Now, I don’t think the job is immoral. I don’t lie, cheat or steal. If people agree upon a price, then there is consent for the monetary transaction. However, I am using my mind to make those terms as much in favor of the business I work for as possible.
So, someone has to do the job, but why does it have to be me? Let me boast because of my sin. I went to school to be a history teacher. I even won an award for it from my undergraduate institution and graduated with a 3.85 GPA. I am a Phi Beta Kappa. I couldn’t get hired to a full time teaching position so I went on for my Masters at Columbia University, Teachers College. I graduated with a 3.8 GPA, an article published in a peer reviewed journal, and a very strong work ethic.
I spent the next six or seven years of my life working multiple jobs, for a period seven days a week, 70 to 80 hours a week. With help from my brother, who fed and housed me a few months, I paid off my college debt within a year of getting my Masters. But I never got a job in a good school to teach, even though I would interview well and taught such strong demo lessons that on multiple occasions I had students shaking my hand as I left the class.
Not knowing what to do, I went and opened a repair shop. After four years of grueling hard work and very little to show for it, it became apparent that it was destroying my personal life and it was not profitable either due to my landlord (who is a family member) refusing to submit to arbitration for the rent. So, now I do what I do, at another repair shop working as hard as I do usually, but so well I actually run out of stuff to do every day.
I don’t want God to take anything back, things are best as they transpired. I have learned so much about Him, I got to know Him in college, I would never take it back. Further, how else would have I met my wife?
But I take stock of my life and see how people who work less hard and know less have more and I envy them. Then, I have these sinful thoughts race across my mind like Schwarzenegger in Total Recall thinking, “I feel like I am meant for something more than this.”
Should I go out and preach the Gospel? But to whom? How? Am I just being proud? We have a sovereign God, it is not a mistake that I am where I am. And if that be the case, I shouldn’t desire anything different and just wait on God to put me somewhere else if the pleases Him.
God, I just pray that my desire to work hard and apply whatever talents I have may be used to further the Gospel. But Lord, you know where and how I best do this for Your sake. May Your will be done.