My job title doesn’t sound too shabby. Actually, I’m honored to do what I do professionally.
But, I’ve always found the question, “What do you do?” off-putting.
I hate it actually, and I’ve never really understood why, until now.
Ask a flower, or any living thing what it does and the answer is simple and profound, “It passes on life.”
When people ask this question, it’s largely a product of the plastic, manufactured system of this world.
And, when people ask, “What do you do?”, it’s though they’re sitting back waiting to calculate how much respect to give you as though your value is being assessed on the Dow Jones.
The question is essentially asking “What thing do you produce that might be of value to me according to this world’s value system?”
But, we’re not machines on a production line, we’re persons —we’re living things.
And, as with all living things, we’re part of a delicate ecosystem. Something that seems small and insignificant, such as the seemingly benign phytoplankton or the understated honey bee, would spell utter disaster for the entire world if they were loss.
God speaks of us as members of a body, a living thing, having placed each one of us purposefully, as He pleases:
“But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.”
—1 Corinthians 12:18
But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.
—1 Corinthians 12:20-22
So, we are not machines to produce dumb things to be sold and traded, but we are persons, living things created for a purpose: to pass on life.
And, what is life?
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
So, the measure of my success is not in the things I produce.
“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
But rather, the measure of my success is in the fruit I produce, life being passed along to others.
And to be clear, Christ is the vine. I am just a branch and can do nothing without Him.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
So, when I’m asked “What do you do?”, I will respond with the answer to the better question, “How are you passing on life?”
And, my answer will be a description of however Jesus is producing beautiful life in me in that season, and how I’m sharing it.
I’m doing it now.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”