recently i was asked this question. Please write a few words of your personal story describing something of your own spiritual journey.
recently I have been reflecting on my attitude to work and how this has been influenced and shaped.
“One of the best reasons for being a Christian, as with a socialist, is that you don’t like to do any work.”(Terry Eagleton, Reason, Faith & revolution: Reflections on the God Debate. Yale, 2009)
Yet the understanding of work has been changed and taken beyond the way Jesus lived to become more in the image of Paul. I have respect for Paul he was a great organiser, preacher and worker. Yet I find I cannot square the accusations leveled against Jesus of being a glutton & being an layabout, and fraternising with low in society with a work ethic which seems to encourage a drive towards self improvement and a burgeoning middle class aspirationaism.
I believe there is nothing wrong with being middle class.
I believe there is nothing wrong with self improvement.
I believe there is nothing wrong with work.
However there does seem to be a disconnect between an example of the word becoming flesh, which took time to travel with people, and spent time with the people no one else would, and faith community which implicitly, and sometimes explicitly esteems high paid jobs, professionalism, and a ‘protestant’ work ethic.
I see the faith and beliefs I hold as something integral to me and as I reflect and think about who I am, and what that means for myself and how I act, I find more incongruence. As such I have decided to make a change, to live life differently to follow Christ and his example in a different way. And see how that goes.
So I have quit my job.
And work/ faith/life may never be the same again.
(NB On the notion of spiritual Journey, I find it unhelpful. I think that it can lead to a sort of spiritual tourism. I think our theology (belief/understanding of God) is very influenced by our place. Where we are, how we engage with the world and conversely how the world engages with us. Unhelpfully spiritual journey seems to transcend reality and condemn our life experience as a moot point, unless it can be spiritualised.)
Of course I could be wrong on this and reserve the right to be wrong!