I was four and a half years into the grind of my second undergraduate degree when I heard God’s call: “Join me in the greatest life purpose of all: following me, and encouraging others to do the same.” Woah, God, woah.
I was more than 40K (GBP) in debt and still had no real idea what I was meant to do. All I knew was that “in word or deed,” I was to “do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17).
The call to mission
I went from “I just want to do my art and write and live a selfish life where I travel and babble like Ernest Hemingway about my life in Paris and how romantic human brokenness is” to “make me a missionary, God. Send me to a remote island and let me fix people.” God, however, was wanting to twig my latter response to His call.
“I can make you a missionary, Ruth. But it’s here in this space, with these people. Work for them as though you work for me.” (Colossians 3:23).
I was challenged in 2016 to get out of my comfort zone and move myself from Leeds to London where I would look for a job. It was a week later that I found myself working for a startup company. Hint: they have a passion for dogs (insert inner millennial white girl squeal here). The start up world is full of fun-loving, hard-working, beer pong-playing young people and there would be times I would have to politely decline – but that faithfulness to God’s purpose was part of my charm in the office.
A living testimony
It became clear to me that as I worked in a secular environment, my life would be a testimony of God. I began God’s work there by asking Him for a divine appointment every day. Christ’s method alone was my method alone. And my efforts in that space were really motivated from freedom. I would speak openly about the Sabbath, explaining it in an inclusive way, I would encourage the work team to bake or cook plant-based foods for our office lunches and birthday celebrations. But more than simply talking about the message of the bible, I showed them the Messenger. I was hard-working, kind – going the extra mile. I was told that the office was not the same after I left – that I had brought light and love into that space.
I was reflecting Jesus in that place – I yearned to share Him with them however possible because it left my heart full.
The only barrier
Turn the page to now, and I’ve just completed my second term as a school counsellor at an Adventist school close to my hometown in Australia. If that wasn’t an answer to prayer, I don’t know what is. I knew since God’s stamp of approval was all over this, that I had no other option. And I didn’t need another option as the work I was doing was exactly my calling – counselling and therapy. I get to tell young people about Jesus. I get to take a chapel talk in front of hundreds of them and show how the bible helps with depression and anxiety. I get to introduce spirituality into a spiritually vapid existence for many of them. There are no barriers within a Christian education setting. The only real barrier becomes me, the messenger.
A daily witness
More than ever in my experience I have learnt that God delights to have us working at Subway and working in a “proper and orderly manner” (1 Corinthians 14:40), recognising the ministry in the workplace that we work in and meeting needs not only of the world out there but the needs of our colleagues. Though we don’t always think or expect it, He can put us to work in a secular environment. The moral of the story? Let us work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord we will receive the inheritance as our reward. (Colossians 3:23).
Ruth is a born again…again Christian young woman hailing from Australia. She therefore believes in second chances – even more than she believes in spell check software, and is on a journey from clown to kosher as she gets back on track with her relationship with Jesus. She is insistent that she is not a cat lady but her morning devotion alarm is a cat prodding her in the face, so the jury is still out.