Men are often tempted to view their vocational occupation as separate and distinct from their calling as father, husband and follower of Christ. But nothing is further from the truth. Our occupational calling is intimately connected to every other sphere of influence God grants us. Nowhere is this faux distinction more keenly felt than when a man spends all his energy and influence on the outside world then has nothing left for his wife, family and church. Are we as faithful in our calling within the home and church as we are in our occupation? Are we more concerned with what we build for strangers than with what we build for those closest to us.
The story is told of an elderly carpenter was due to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the business and start a life of leisure with his wife and extended family. He would miss the money, but the time was right and he was ready to hang up his hammer.
His boss was disappointed as the carpenter had been a loyal and diligent worker for many years, so he was sad to see him go. He asked for one last favor, requesting that the carpenter could build one last house before retiring. The tradesman agreed, but it was soon clear that his heart wasn’t in it. He took shortcuts, used inferior materials and put in a half-hearted effort. In the end the final product was well short of his usual standards, a disappointing way to end his career.
When the job was finished, the employer came to inspect the work. After taking a look around, he handed the keys to the carpenter and said, “This is your house, it’s my gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked and embarrassed. If only he had known, he would have made sure that everything was perfect. If he had known the consequences, he would have demanded excellence from himself.
Nehemiah did not rebuild the walls of Jerusalem by himself, nor did he enlist the aid of general contractors. He led families with diverse gifts and callings, each working in their own neighborhood, to rebuild the city of God together. This is an apt picture of our calling as men to fulfill the Great Commission from the inside out, starting within our own homes. What are the spiritual challenges this calling creates for you? Join with other men as we gather this Thursday morning, August 10, from 6:30 – 7:30am at Panera Bread, 10701 Kanis Rd, Little Rock, for fellowship, prayer and discussion of godly manhood from the life of Nehemiah.