Bob and Jim were buddies growing up; they did everything together. Each was considered part of the other’s family, they shared their lives the way that true friends do…
On the Monday after their High School graduation, Bob and Jim started jobs with the railroad that ran through their small town. As time went on, their careers took different courses and they gradually drifted apart.
Forty years later Bob was a section boss on the railroad responsible for the maintenance of the roadbed on a section of track. On this particular day he had prepared for an inspection; the President of the railroad was going to personally inspect his section, a stressful day for any low-level manager!
When the big black car pulled up and the president got out, it was the first time that Bob had seen Jim for a long time. Jim, now the president of the entire railroad conducted his inspection. He knew that Bob’s section was one of the best in the system; it all went very smoothly. When the official business was completed, the men had a few minutes to visit. It occurred to Bob that their differing career paths had been kind of strange considering how similar the two had been while growing up. He blurted out, “Jim, isn’t it strange how our careers have gone in such different ways after all these years?”
Jim had wondered if Bob might mention this and replied, “Yeah Bob, who would have predicted it?”
“Not me, that’s for sure,” said Bob, “I sure can’t figure it out, can you?”
“Bob, I know exactly why we traveled different paths.”
“Really? Why was it, then?”
“Well Bob, it all happened on our very first day, remember? When we first started you went to work for the paycheck; I went to work for the railroad.” Shortly after this, the men shook hands and went their separate ways, Jim feeling kind of sorry for his old friend; Bob feeling a twinge of regret…
Many of us do good things while working for our Lord in many different ways. We might volunteer in church projects. Some might be ministry leaders working with young people, music or feeding the hungry. Some are even paid ministry staff people…
What are we working for? Are we working for praise? Do we labor for acceptance or feelings of satisfaction… or are we working for the Body of Christ and for our Lord Jesus Christ?