Someone once told me that if I want to fix something mechanical (not my forte), that I should stare at it for at least a full minute. That advice has helped me much more than my Time/Life Homeowners Fix It book that sits on my bookshelf. By staring at whatever I’m trying to fix, I can begin seeing the interconnectedness of its elements, and that provides me the contextual understanding necessary to arrive at a solution.
The same dynamic happens with workplace learning. I’ve been through training courses and business classes hoping to just learn the content, but soon forgot most of it because I didn’t immediately get to use it. For me, the best learning opportunities are those that comfortably immerse me in a topic, orienting me and giving me a confident foundation to build upon, not those that try to make an expert out of me. In much simpler words, practical learning is not focused on remembering all the answers, but knowing how to ask the right questions.
I think the same is true about living out our faith at work. Solomon teaches us in Proverbs 9:10 that, “Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding.” (and when you read “fear” think of being in utter awe of the immensity of the ocean, not the terror of a chainsaw-wielding lunatic in your front yard).
To be an effective Christian in the workplace doesn’t require starting seminary courses. It starts with being in awe of the Creator of the universe who stepped into his creation in order to redeem us. It’s through that understanding, that incredible foundation of grace, that we know what questions to ask, what choices to make, and how to gain that which is “more valuable than gold and rubies” – wisdom.