In my last article, “Preparation 101”, I shared how we are sent to PREPARE for our future at an early age by attending school, then mid-way in middle school or before we enter high school we are given a selection of careers that a particular High school may offer that may be of interest to us. I also mentioned how I failed to take to heart the advice of my boss John L. from Jamco Construction Inc. when he encouraged me to be more than a Carpenter but to consider being an Architect and a Licensed Contractor.
I would like to continue this topic of Preparation by teaching about (Preparing Your Work). Solomon said, [Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home (Proverbs 24:27 AMP).
Again we have 3 steps to being successful Christians in any role or career God has appointed us in this life on the earth;
1. Step one- We must--Prepare our work outside…
2. Step two- We must—get it ready for ourselves in the field;
3. Step three- Then we can—build our house and establish a home (Prov.24:27 AMP)
Tracing Your Steps—Knowing Your Calling
Although I didn’t take my boss’s advice seriously in 1981, I only lasted 4 years with his company but I matured from a laborer to a junior carpenter. In 1984, I was then invited to work at a lumber yard for about two years, then I was invited to work for Windsor plumbing for 18 months, in 1988, I worked as a maintenance man for 6 years, in 1993, I went to the cabinet shop for 14 months, then the supermarket for 3 years, then maintenance again for 4 years and then a porter for 4 years. In 2003, my father invited me to work with him for 12 weeks as a carpenter, in 2004 I worked with my uncle for 1 year to do a brownstone at this time I started college again majoring in Construction Management and Civil Engineering, and then I was called back to the high-end world of Carpentry with JVA industries back in May of 2005 thru May of 2007.
It was in 2005, that the light bulb clicked on in my head about the pattern of my life in the Construction Field. No matter the twists and turns of career choices it always ended up in the line of Construction or an element of a trade that worked in Construction. It was also a clear revelation of what my boss John L. stated to be more than a Carpenter. So I checked out what I needed to do to be an Architect and a Licensed Contractor. The two careers were tough and pricey to reach.
However, John’s encouragement continued to challenge me I knew I had more to offer. So as I worked in JVA Industries I would come to job sites and fix many problems then after fixing about 10 job sites my top foremen messed up the Construction Managers asked me why am I wasting my time as a Carpenter when you can be a Construction Manager and earn about 45k-125k a year. They said I know everything from reading blue prints, to catching errors, to building and easily come to a solution no matter what the problem is. Then I finally obtained my Construction Manager License in 2008, earning 65k and better depending on the Contractor and scope of work.
Prepare Your Work Outside
What is your line of WORK? What can you see if you go back and trace your steps from your first job to your current one that can be a clear indicator that God has singled you out to be a Lawyer, Doctor, Secretary, Analysis, Computer Specialist, an Apps creator, Web Designer, Script Writer, Movie Producer, Pastor, Teacher, Professor, Bible Teacher, An Evangelist and more…? Can you see where you have been throughout all your life? What twists and turns have you’ve taken in life? And if you try to find a pattern does it match or is it near to the job description you originally began with? When we probe deep into our jobs and career changes or if we remained in the same company for 5, 10, 15, or 20 years what can we do to make this Scripture in (Proverbs 24:27 AMP) more practical?
The practical part is PREPARE YOUR WORK OUTSIDE;
Is the Construction field your line of work? Is the Medical field your line of work? Is the Media and Arts field your line of work? Is the Law Enforcement field your line of work? Is the Athletic field your line of work? Is the Corporate field your line of work? Or the Political field your line of work?
I believe some of us will know what we desire to do when we are about 8 years old; others will come into knowledge of their career choice in their teens, while others may get an idea in their 20’s. The Biblical objective is to consider what God is saying through Solomon, PREPARE YOUR WORK OUTSIDE; because you may not have had a boss like mine who encouraged me to be more than a Carpenter. I believe a teacher in school may have said to you, “to be all you can be” or some friend or relative. In any event, we have God telling us through Solomon to PREPARE YOUR WORK OUTSIDE.
We PREPARE FOR OUR LINE OF WORK OUTSIDE of school—by doing internship, or have a part-time while attending College. Or we may work full-time and go to College part-time to obtain a degree so we may get out of the dead-end job.
We PREPARE FOR OUR LINE OF WORK IN THE MINISTRY OUTSIDE of church walls—by going out and Evangelizing our neighborhoods, schools and every place we are to reach out to lost souls. As we become more seasoned and mature Christians we will be able to Teach many who will never step foot in a church because of all the hypocrisy and scandals that rock the church world that turn people off.
PREPARE YOUR WORK—DO YOUR HOMEWORK
I tell many people I have one Philosophy in Life—that is Do Your Homework! I amazed at how many people walk around in life aimlessly and without any real purpose or motivation to find out why in the world they are here and what do they have to do to gain insight to their calling in life. Although there may be many legitimate excuses as well as, some lame ones. We have to capture a fresh revelation of the importance of doing homework.
For example, I use to hate homework when I was in school but I found that when I do it the next day I realized that the work was ingrained in me so much that when the Teacher or professor asked me a question I would respond in such an educated manner that the Professor said wait a minute I never saw this point before. This happened with Jesus when he was 12 years old Jesus studied Scripture deeply while being trained to be a Carpenter by His step-father Joseph.
When you read Luke 2:42-49 NKJV, there are some points we have to consider when it comes to growing spiritually;
1. We must sit in the midst of Teachers that are teaching subjects that are of our interest.
2. We are to listen carefully and stop texting and being disrespectful (Luke 2:46 NKJV)
3. We are to ask them questions for the sake of clarity and to see the knowledge they’ve acquired
After Jesus did His student part He demonstrates His maturity and wealth of knowledge because the Scriptures went on to point out that; all who heard Him were astonished at His Understanding and Answers (Luke 2:47 NKJV).
Luke finishes off chapter 2 in verse 52 by saying; And Jesus increased in Wisdom and Stature, and in favor with God and men.
Jesus Is Our Example
The reason Jesus succeeded in the Construction Field as a Carpenter and in the Ministry Field as a Powerful Servant of God is because He sat in the midst of scholars of His day, He listened carefully, and asked some deep questions. Then He shared what He knew and they were blown away at His understanding and unique answers that they didn’t consider in their Bible college. This demonstrates that He did His Homework! Home work prepares us for class-work the next day and for life’s work for the rest of our lives.
If you want to be the best Carpenter do your Homework…If you want to be the best athlete train wiser, harder and study the sport…If you want to be the best Evangelist do your homework…If you want to be the best doctor-(a specialist) well, do your homework… Whatever it is you’re striving to become do your homework…be studious…be smart…be the best that you can be. Don’t half-step, don’t allow mediocrity or laziness to settle in and say ah, I done enough. There is always more to learn, more to experience, more to encounter.
I went from a laborer—to—a Carpenter. From a Carpenter to a Lumber yard worker, from a Lumber yard worker to a plumber, from a plumber to an all around maintenance man, from maintenance to a Cabinet Maker, from a cabinet maker back to a High-end Carpenter then to a Licensed Construction Manager. You only get better with God. The Spirit of God will keep motivating you to go higher. He’ll use your boss’s advice, He’ll use your teacher’s advice, and He’ll use anything that was spoken over you to be all you can be.
Your Work Is?
When we come to learn what our individual work is—then can we take the appropriate steps to polish ourselves in that line of work. As a teen I’ve been groomed to;
1. Work hard
2. Work safe
3. Work smart
4. Work together with
5. Work in stages and phases
6. Work it to completion
I wasn’t even a Christian nor did I have Christian principles to live by to carry out these 6 work related steps. However, we must be passionate about what we are striving to do. Jesus didn’t stop studying when He left the presence of the Teachers in Jerusalem. He told Mary and Joseph I must be about my Father’s Business (Luke 2:49 NKJV).
When we realize it’s not our parents or teachers who are trying to tell us what to become but it’s God OUR HEAVENLY FATHER who allowed us to be born into a family that can easily train us to be a Carpenter, Doctor, Lawyer, Electrician or an Athlete or open the door to that career when we least expected. We can work hard, work safe, work smart, work together with HIM, work in stages and phases and work it to completion to become that professional He desires us to be.
I will return again with more God willing, May God Bless you with Passion to work it, in Jesus’ name amen.