Have you ever had a job where you got little feedback as to how you were doing? Ever had a job where you never got an “attaboy” or a “way to go!” I have. In fact, I have had a few of those jobs over the years.
One of those jobs I had the summer after I graduated from college. I worked at an oil company as a summer intern. As a journalism major, I found myself suddenly surrounded by people with PhD’s in things I could not spell, much less understand. They were all researching tectonic plates and international oil reserves, and yet somehow, I was supposed to add something to the team. My undergraduate training was in writing. My graduate course work I was preparing to start that next fall was in Theology. This basically qualified me to do nothing inside that office. To make matters worse, my boss for the summer was only in the office one of the ten weeks of my employment . . . and that was the last week I was there. It was maybe the strangest “exit interview” ever. “Well Jim, we really appreciate your participation with us this summer. We certainly enjoyed the input you had the Xijiang well project,” my boss would say. “The what project?” I replied. “And who is this Jim?”
It is not that I did not have anything to do that summer. I found a way to keep busy. They had me pull open the filing drawers of dozens of file cabinets. It was my job to go through these cabinets drawer by drawer and type out the names of every report that was in each cabinet. I am not kidding or exaggerating. It took me eight weeks of eight hours a day (or 320 hours) to work my way through all of the cabinets. When I finally finished this project, I remember handing this report to one of the Geologists at the lab, and he just pointed to a file cabinet and said, “Just toss it over there.” “Great,” I thought. “I just chronicled what was in 50 file cabinets so that list could be filed in one file cabinet.” Of course, I had the sinking suspicion that my report would eventually be “filed” again in the oval receptacle that sat beneath the geologist’s desk.
As I think about that experience, I have concluded two things. One, I was just thankful to have a job that summer. Two, I always wondered if the work I did was ever noticed or even desired.
As I read Revelation 11, I see a promise from heaven that our work on this earth for our “Boss” never goes unnoticed. Though we may not see our Boss face to face every day, He is not unaware of what we have done and are doing as we serve Him in this life. In Revelation 11:18 the population of heaven praises God by saying, “The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding Your servants the prophets and Your saints and those who reverence Your name, both small and great – and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” This verse reminds us that Jesus, our Boss, will one day give each of us a complete and thorough job review. We will all stand before Him one day and give an account for our life, and He will not have missed any of our actions, good or bad. What is amazing about this job review, though, is that He offers us the most lopsided trade in history. If we have placed our faith in Him, He will bear the consequences for all our sin and failures, and yet we will receive the reward for the good deeds we have lived out in faith. None of our good deeds are filed in the trash can, and all of our sin is borne on His back. What a gracious proposition!
With this in mind, two truths gain importance. One, I am just so thankful to have a spiritual life and a relationship with God because of His grace. Two, I am so thankful to know that the life of faith both matters and does not go unnoticed by our Boss in heaven.