day 2618: Hidden Work

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”

When I was growing up the most visible part-time job was to work in McDonald’s.  Lots of kids wanted to do so, but not that many were accepted.  It was the best job and if you were hired there, it meant you had done something right. The McDonald’s job was visible.  Today, the most occupied part-time jobs are invisible, almost hidden.  While McDonald’s is not the power of a community like it once was, replaced by Starbucks kind of, they still represent a large employer with sales of over $21B annually.  Their number of employees today is roughly 210,000. That’s a lot of people.  However, our more less-seen jobs are way bigger. Uber, with $11B of revenue has employees of 3.92 million people and a third of those are in the United States. Only a fraction of that number are full-time, with most being 1099 contractors, but they still must pay them, communicate with them, regulate them and send them a 1099 versus a W2 at the end of the tax year.  And, we many times forget that we are competing with Uber and Lyft and other gig economy jobs as people who would have once come to work for us as full-time or part-time are now finding freedom and flexibility in their less visible jobs. They also forego much of the security and perks that we might think they desire, but they don’t.  It is hubris to sit back and think that nearly 4 million people from one company are only doing what they are doing because they must or can’t find something else.  Some might, but a large number are making choices about the new kind of work they want to do.

Jesus called the Disciples to a work that at first must have appealed to them as they considered the power and authority that Jesus had and would earn as He became more and more well known. As He stood at the base of a hillside and spoke to over 5000 people, the Disciples had to be giving each other high fives for the size of the crowds that Jesus could bring.  They were becoming very visible and were on their way in their own roles to becoming popular. And then it changed and their work became something else.  They were all of a sudden on the other side of the public opinion and their status was lost.  But, this is where we can learn.  They did not stop just because their status changed.  They worked differently, but they carried out what Jesus had commanded them to do.  We might be feeling “hidden” today in our work, our role or our career.  But, let us not feel hidden in our purpose, because God has given us what we are to do for Him within our work and each and every time we respond and step up to His calling, we are making Him visible to others.

Reference:  Matthew 5:14 (New Living Translation)