Part of my role as a pastor for several years was to encourage people who worked in the “secular realm” all week long that their work was sacred and their job, no matter how seemingly menial, had meaning. I had a sense that people were coming to church on Sundays, at least in part because they wanted to know that the rest of their week was somehow connected to the sacred. I took this role seriously and tried to tear down barriers between the sacred and secular.
I write this because now my job title does not say “pastor”, rather it says “business analyst.” I must admit that I now find myself on the other side of the issue: Struggling to find meaning in my work, and searching for the sacred among the secular. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I don’t enjoy my job. Rather, I am reminded how elusive that deeper meaning can be for most people, myself included. Lyrics to a song have been running through my head lately, “One more dime to show for my day; One more dollar and I’m on my way.” Surely there is something more to all this.
Yet it is during this struggle that I have met a couple of guys at work who model what it looks like to bridge this sacred/secular divide (a divide that admittedly may be of our own construct). One sees his job as a means to support his role at his local church. Another mentors the unemployed and leads other men in a book study at work. It is one thing to know something intellectually, but I am grateful for the real-life examples of sacred work, no matter what a job title may read.
My week ended with a long phone conversation with a friend, who admitted that he felt many pastors had little to offer him in his own search to infuse the sacred into his job. He concluded by saying, “Dave, you may have more to say now to people than you did in your role as a pastor.” The journey continues!