Someone asked me yesterday about the challenges of living out an authentic Christian life at work. The pressures of the marketplace are often intense and seem inimical to following the teachings and practice of Jesus. I understand how that feels and have experienced it myself. There is a lot to say in answering that question. I think a good place to begin is to find ways to be continually reminded of what story we are in. Remember what Sam Gamgee said in Lord of the Rings:
It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.
We are in a great story — the inbreaking and victory of the kingdom of God. We are resident aliens bringing in a new culture, one stronger and truer than the kingdoms of this world. It can seem the other way around, like the world is stronger. We can get confused about which kingdom’s ethos we are living into. But all the while, the kingdom of God is here, it is close, it is coming in. We are its agents. The story of Jesus and the kingdom of God is our story. And since this is our Father’s world, we find that living into the story of His Son is actually the truest way to go about life in this world.
I encourage you today to remember what story you are in. Bear the fruit of the Spirit. Act like the agent of the kingdom that you are. And pay close attention for kingdom instructions. You will get them.