“heaven-high God”

April 2, 2004

[bird's eye view]Psalm 7 lectio: heaven-high God. This is actually a lectio I did weeks ago while waiting to hear back from Apple, but Kreekt’s recent comment about “how God sees the entire picture” brought it back.

The Psalms, with all their complaints about life, have been a source of comfort to me this Lent as I continue to wrestle with being unemployed. But a funny thing happened when I reached the end of Psalm 7: When I read the words “heaven-high God”, I suddenly felt like I was in a glass elevator going up fast (like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), looking down at my problems. A lot more was visible from this top-down perspective, and my immediate concerns seemed small. I could tell that God saw a lot more than my desire for that particular job; he knew if I would be happy there.

You see, I was spoiled at Adobe by a succession of great managers who knew that work was just work, and that I had a life outside of work, and so did they. They resisted overtime, and made work a fun place. They made me want to work harder and better in a way that lifted me up rather than beating me down. They became my friends. How many people can say, “My boss is my friend”? I was totally blessed, totally spoiled.

When I interviewed for the last position, I was told that the manager avoids rush hour by coming in early and leaving late. Hmm.

So this lectio changed my prayer from, “Get me this job!” to “Lord, you see a lot more than the job description. You know everything about the people, the relationships, the pressure. I want a job where I will be happy. If this position will do it, please give it to me, but otherwise close the door.”

And so, I guess, God answered my prayer. And I continue to pray not for any job that’ll pay the bills, but for a job with good people.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

3 responses to “heaven-high God”

  1. Jon,
    work remains just work, and time off from work remains just that — time off from work. You are not merely an economic creature (no matter how hard the consumerist society we swim in wants you to believe that you are). No matter how hard it is for you to be calm while you’re not working, remember that this time is also a gift so that you can enjoy your family, your friends, and your other (non-work) interests.
    I know (believe me, I do!) how hard it can be to stop being The Great Hunter, bringing home the Fruits of the Hunt for your family. Learn, if you can, to simply be a human being instead of a human doing. Eventually, something worth doing will come along again, but it may not be what you expect. Your God will bring you opportunity.

  2. Another one comes out of lurking… ladies and gentlemen, I present my first manager at Adobe! Now you can see that I really was spoiled.
    Evan, thanks for the wisdom and encouragement. Human being vs. human doing… wow. (Jared, I’m sure you can turn that into a conversation at the Bridge Communities.)

  3. Jon, I like the perspective of a bird’s eye view. Reminds me of the illustration of the tapestry. How sometimes we just see the back, all knotty and not making sense. But God sees the beautiful tapestry on the other side.
    That helps me. I don’t understand why you are unemployed, why I have chronic fatigue, but I don’t have to. When I think about how God knows, then I can put my future in his hands. “My times are in His hands.” Thank you, Lord. And thanks Jon for your encouragement to see things from the big picture.