The year was 1978 and I was working as a test engineer at the Chrysler Proving Grounds. We ran auto emissions tests on cars being developed. The ones that passed, we then gave a final certification test. By the time of the cert test, Chrysler had put about $10,000 per vehicle in testing emissions. So, if we blew a cert test, it costs Chrysler $10,000 to re-certify it.
The afternoon shift was a lot more laid back than the day shift. Most engineers glanced up at the computer screen occasionally to see that everything was going well, but usually brought in a book to read or graduate school homework to study. My wife and I were teaching a church youth group, so I brought in study material for that. I figured if other engineers brought in their things, I could certainly bring in godly things to take up my time.
Then things started to go wrong with my cert tests. Finally my supervisor assigned my cert tests to other engineers and only gave me regular emissions tests. Things started going wrong with these things also. It seemed I couldn’t do hardly anything right. My boss got angry with me and I got very defensive. I even got mad at God. I told Him I was doing His work (the youth group work), while other engineers were doing secular work (reading books or doing graduate homework). But their work wasn’t suffering while mine was. Then God invaded my thoughts and said, “You’re not doing my work, you’re doing your work in My name”. BOOM! Even though I was doing good youth group work, that’s not why God had me at Chrysler. I wasn’t there to do youth group work. I was there to do auto emission testing so I could provide for my family. And I wasn’t doing a very good job at that. Then He reminded me of the following scriptures:
Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus”.
Colossians 3:23,24, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Romans 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Then He hit me right between the eyes when He asked me if I would do this kind of work if Jesus was my supervisor? OUCH! I realized that He was right. My work reputation with my boss did not reflect well on my relationship with Jesus. I repented of my sinful attitude. I put away my youth group studies and began to concentrate on my engineering duties. In a couple of weeks, when I had made no testing mistakes, I noticed my boss giving me cert tests again. In another month, he came up to me and told me that I had made no errors at all and that I had become the best engineer he had. He asked me what made me change. I told him what I have told you. My boss was an Indian (from India) and was not a believer. But he told me that he was very impressed for my being so honest with him and in the turnaround in my work. This changed my whole attitude towards work.
As I studied history, I understood the Puritan work ethic. They saw work as a calling. They worked as if Jesus was their boss. As a result, God blessed them immensely. What is your attitude toward your job? Do you see it as a calling? Do you see God as your boss?
FYI…I also found other time to do our youth group work. God blessed that also.
For His Kingdom,