Closing the Gap

Last week, work was almost pure craziness. In addition to my role as a software developer I seem to have also taken on the role of tech support. This won’t be permanent (I hope), but it’s still exhausting. I got myself wrapped up in this by trying to help someone else. That’ll teach me. Well, probably not.

You see, even though my company has been around for the past five years, we’re just now getting to the point where we can develop some support structures to handle a wider customer base. As usual, that support structure starts with one person. Our managers thought it would be a good idea to have one of the people who has been there for a long time take on the task of handing support tickets as well as some of her existing tasks.

I honestly believe that’s a good idea, and we all know it’ll take some time to get her thinking technically and critically as well as the way she’s used to thinking for her current tasks. Earlier this week I realized that it might be a good idea to try to help her acclimate to her new role as tech support, in effort to help streamline the overall process from tickets being submitted to tech support and then deciding whether they should be assigned to developers and so on.

I didn’t realize this would last more than an hour, much less all week…and probably into the next couple of weeks. I don’t think I’ve been so tired after work as I was last week. I thought about slowly pulling back, but then I realized that not only was I doing the best thing I could for my company, I was also doing the best thing for my own joy and job satisfaction down the road.

I’m pursuing my own joy by pouring myself out

Sound familiar? I realized that the only way to avoid the complete chaos and pandemonium that was coming our way inside of a month was for someone to step in and fill the gap between our newly developing support team and the software developers. So, I stepped in. Some days, it’s honestly too much and I want to hide under my desk like George Costanza. And sometimes I get an idea in my head and spend five hours on the weekend implementing that idea to make my life better the next week.

All the work stuff aside for a moment, isn’t this what Jesus did for us? He left His eternal home and came to earth to close the gap between us and God, and then He carried us across the bridge too. He poured Himself out, He sacrificed for His own future joy (Heb. 12:2).

We talk a lot about living incarnationally these days. Being like Jesus by stepping out into the world – into our workplaces, coffee shops, and stores — for the sake of the gospel, instead of staying huddled up in a church building. We spend so much time trying to figure out what that looks like and how we talk about Jesus without getting fired, but maybe we’re making it too complicated.

I fully believe the gospel needs to be proclaimed verbally, and with conviction, but maybe the path toward that conversation just looks like filling a need at work for the sake of helping someone else grow in their position? Maybe it doesn’t start with a thought-provoking question, but starts with simply caring enough to pick up some of the slack and then teaching someone how to handle it?

Maybe it starts by being good stewards and faithful workers.

5 responses to “Closing the Gap

  1. Rick Sartain

    Excellent insight, Don. I always enjoy your insights. I’ve been getting the email notifications, but they’ve been going to my junk box. I’m catching up on the backlog now.

  2. Re: That last paragraph…. I believe the word you’re looking for is “discipleship.” 🙂

  3. Yeah, this. I totally agree. I was recommended for a job I didn’t even know I wanted (that included two promotions) because i stepped up to fill a gap that wasn’t “mine” to fill. I didn’t get paid for the overtime and extra headache, but now I feel I’ve been more than rewarded. And now, I LOVE my job. I completely relate to the joy you are speaking of. It’s exhausting but SO satisfying.

    Keep being faithful with the little. He sees, even if no one else does.

  4. I’m working a blog series about things I learned from my past jobs, and you speak to some of the things I’ve thought about. For me, sharing the Gospel in the market place has meant something as simple as being hard working, reliable, trustworthy, and do it all with a good attitude. But usually it gives way to those conversations about faith, God, Jesus and the Bible. Nothing like laboring shoulder to shoulder with nonbelievers to “earn the right to be heard”.
    In a work culture that thrives on every one is out for themselves, what greater way to share the Gospel than to be generous and hospitable within the confines of your own office. This awesome, Don.

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