Seeing Things Differently

By Wesley Farrow

I was once hired into a leadership position at a small company where fear and stress were dominant cultural norms. All team members, especially executives like me, were expected to prove their intelligence, adaptive capacity, and productivity through a 24/7 test of responsiveness.

Everyone was too busy except for the task at hand. I pushed important meetings into group chats and sent emails instead of practicing discernment.

Years later I found myself without the familiar busyness of a demanding job. I surprised friends and family by enrolling in an online seminary program. I planned to finish the program quickly and add it to my resume. God had other plans. 

Once I began studying scripture in earnest, I realized this was nothing like my past work. There was a different feel to everything. The story of Mary and Martha made me wonder what I had been missing (Luke 10:38-42). I realized I had not fully committed my work to God (Proverbs 16:3). But it was the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) that got the Spirit moving.

This parable is about God’s grace and love, where all workers are compensated equally at the end of the day regardless of how long they had worked. That didn’t seem fair at all! My maximizer tendencies saw a parable about earning and productivity and I could not have been further from the truth.

While my head had it twisted, I suddenly felt a shift in my heart. I had been trying to earn what could only be given by my Father in heaven! Surely the weight of my sin was far more than hard work could ever carry.

My Orthodox Yiayia (grandmother in Greek) taught me at a young age to pray, “Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” I have fallen short of God’s grace time and time again, lived much of my life out of relationship with God, showed up late to his vineyard, and yet he redeems me and loves me as his child. 

I felt connected and called to the study of scripture more than ever before. The Holy Spirit had begun to move within me, that I might more fully walk the path God was placing at my feet. Praise Jesus for this undeserved yet abundant blessing!

Mornings of Crossfit workouts and clearing my inbox have transformed into time of prayer and meditation. Intensity during the workday used to trigger my competitive nature, but now it reminds me to turn to God in the name of Jesus. All of these changes are reflections of how I have been blessed to walk differently in the Spirit, letting the Lord guide me and trusting in him. 

As President of Christians in Commerce, I still find myself struggling daily with desires to plan, understand, and predict. Old habits are hard to unlearn, especially with the ambitious undertaking of WorkLight during a global pandemic. Yet the power of the Holy Spirit brings the discipline and wisdom needed to look past the demands of my to-do list and into the truth and abundance of building God’s Kingdom. 

Please join me in prayer that I, you, and we might encounter and invite the Holy Spirit to bring our work ever closer to our Father in the name of Jesus Christ.

Wesley Farrow began is the President of WorkLight & Christians in Commerce.  He can be reached at wesley@worklight.org.

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