Starved for Faith and Vision
by John UpChurch
"Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: 'The days go by and every vision comes to nothing'? Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer quote it in Israel.' Say to them, 'The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled.” Ezekiel 12:22-23
For me, Dave was that boss. The guy could make every triumph into misery, every completed project into a diatribe for what didn’t go right. Not chewing you out was his way of complimenting a job well done. And, no, I’m not joking. The guy would fire someone I worked with and then come to me the next day to say, “I fired your little friend.”
And yet, for some reason I never understood, Dave liked me from the beginning. He would never have said that, of course, never admitted to not hating someone. But he did. Even as a lackey intern, he put me in charge of projects way above my pay grade. Even as the newbie, he’d let me in on the big stuff we’d be working on in a few months. My position was only supposed to last 30 days, but Dave kept me there for months by making excuses to his bosses about why I should stay.
To be honest, I hated the work. Here I was an English major who was supposed to be editing and writing and changing the world through prose. But I was afraid of trying for that world-changing job. Instead, I got pushed into IT project management for hospitals, which is really just a nice way of saying that I moved computers and loaded software. Over and over.
But it’s funny what happens between a boss and a peon when you’re wearing scrubs and snatching computers from the ICU. For Dave, those moments brought clarity. In a place where alarms signal dying, he’d tell me about his one-time plans to be an architect and the reasons why it couldn’t happen. His rage would disappear with the code blues and rushing nurses. He dreamed for just a moment.
And then we’d be pushing our carts of equipment to a new wing of the hospital, and the sarcasm flooded in to cover the regret. He’d snap back to the snappiness as if the ICU never happened.
Maybe that’s why Dave liked me. He knew I didn’t want to be in those sterile halls either. He knew this detour felt more like a dead end. I was his earlier self.
When I finally quit, Dave didn’t say goodbye. In fact, he avoided me for much of my two-week notice period. His only words about me were to berate the rest of the team with how the “only competent worker” was leaving.
With him, that meant he approved.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Dave was that boss—a curmudgeon God used to show me how important vision is, how necessary risk can be to following where God leads. He’d stayed in the safety of a career he despised because excuses were easier than fear and faith.
Part of what it means for Christians to let our lights shine is for us to live by faith. We know God can build bridges over chasms—even if we have no idea how. (Sometimes it’s as if He purposefully waits until we’re right on the edge.)
Vision and faith refresh and refill and renew. Those who have lost both need you to show them how to get them back once again.