From time to time, reports indicate many people are highly dissatisfied with their jobs. I suspect that a substantial portion of them are also dissatisfied with their lives in general. I’m not among them, but can imagine how miserable it must be to awaken each morning and, instead of a enthusiastic “Good morning, Lord!”, only being able to grudgingly muster up, “Good Lord…morning!”
Years ago, someone asked a simple question that helped me to evaluate the work I was doing and see more clearly what I would really like to be doing. During a phone conversation he asked, “If money were no object, would you continue doing what you’re doing right now?”
This individual wasn’t some wealthy magnate or philanthropist offering to write me a blank check so I could do whatever I wished. He was just a concerned friend. But his question prompted me to put my life into proper perspective. Was I really pursuing those things I believed God wanted me to be pursuing, things He had equipped me to do? Or was I clinging to my job – any job – for the security of a paycheck, or for fear of change or the unknown?
After thinking about the question for a while, I had my answer: If money were no object, I’d definitely be doing something else. This led me to begin exploring other options. Most important, I became very open to any course corrections the Lord was preparing to make in my career.
The issue wasn’t money, however. It wasn’t as if I was envisioning joining the so-called “one percent.” It had nothing to do with how much I could earn. And the question didn’t motivate me to rush out and buy lottery tickets. It involved removing personal finances from the equation entirely.
At that point in my life, I was well into my most productive years, so if there were hopes and dreams I intended to achieve before my life’s work was over, it was about time I got started. It wasn’t as if I hated what I was doing at the time. There were many positives. But there still seemed to be much to accomplish – potential I felt God had put into me. When was I going to start trying to realize it?
Writing to the turbulent church in the ancient city of Colossae, the apostle Paul gave this admonition: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father…do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:17,23-24).
This means striving to do our very best, even in undesirable settings and circumstances. But it’s much easier to “work as for the Lord rather than for men” when you enjoy what you’re being asked to do. Thanks in part to that probing question, before long God revealed new opportunities that I might not have even considered before.
One time Jesus concluded a parable by explaining the importance of being faithful with whatever we’ve been assigned to do, even if it doesn’t seem significant. “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much” (Luke 16:10). Even if we’re not enthused about our current circumstances, God still expects us to do our “utmost for His highest,” as Oswald Chambers called it.
Then, if and when the Lord chooses to give us a “reassignment,” we’ve demonstrated our capability and readiness for what He has prepared for us to do next. Over the years since I was presented the “if money were no object” question, I’ve discovered another truth. As Ephesians 3:20 promises, God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” What would you ask of God, or dare to imagine – if money were no object?