Worth Reading - 3/19

1. Instead of trying to inject meaning into our work, we should look for the meaning that is already there:

The beautiful paradox of the Christian life is that even when we find ourselves in “cog-like” work environments, God has oriented our hands toward both material provision and blessing as well as transcendent purpose and beauty — the stuff of “cathedrals” what-have-you. “Happily, a genuine cog is a round peg in a round hole, fitted precisely to being what, at that point, the mosaic of culture requires,” DeKoster writes elsewhere. “There alone resides our freedom to enjoy civilized life.”

As we continue to be bombarded by various forms of “meaning marketing” and the sloganeering of forward-thinking executives, let’s indulge what turns out to be true, but be careful to not inject our own version of “meaning” where the authentic purpose already exists.

God put it there for a reason.

2. How to handle rejection in writing, in this case Academic writing:

Recently I wrote an odd sort of thank-you note.
It was to a journal editor who had rejected one of my articles. The careful critique he had provided helped me reconceptualize my argument and revise the article into acceptance with a different journal (you can read this ‘revised’ article in the recent Journal of Religious History volume 39:1, March 2015). So I sent him a quick email of thanks for his constructive comments.

Of course, at the moment of rejection, my thoughts were not as benevolent. I was angry, confused, and embarrassed as a scholar. Indeed, one rejection so immobilized me as a young scholar that I deep-sixed my first rejected article and still have not resurrected it into a new submission. Time (and the accumulation of more rejections) has changed my perspective on how to deal with this unpleasant, but necessary component of the academic life.

3. Some advice for young men on maturing from Desiring God:

Younger men, you do need guidance from older men. At the same time, the myth that the older generation has it all together must be erased. We don’t. We are learning and growing in many of the same ways young men are.

God has taught older men a number of things, though — through our strengths and weaknesses, through our successes and failures — that he may have intended for you. There is counsel that can ground you in the midst of life’s turbulence (inside of you and around you) and equip you to become more mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28).
What do your days look like? How do they begin, and how do they end?

If you’re anything like me, my days look pretty ordinary.

They are filled with instant oatmeal in the morning as I scurry out the door, somehow always forgetting my laptop charger, as I begin my half-an-hour commute to the office, where I work diligently until about 5 o’clock, when I then rush home to participate, if I’m lucky, in some brief form of exercise, cook a quick meal for dinner, and then face the loads of laundry and mounds of house chores and rent bills that seem to never end.

Ordinary life and ordinary time are what some may call my “bread-and-butter.” How, though, can these rhythms of ordinary living be nourishingly sweet and even glorious?

5. An excerpt from Martyn Lloyd-Jones on not tracking our successes:

There is no need to waste time keeping the accounts; he is keeping them. And what wonderful accounts they are. May I say it with reverence, there is nothing I know of that is so romantic as God’s method of accountancy. Be prepared for surprises in this kingdom. You never know what is going to happen. The last shall be first. What a complete reversal of our materialistic outlook, the last first, the first last, everything upside down. The whole world is turned upside down by grace. It is not of man, it is of God; it is the kingdom of God.