So, last week a project manager/estimator from our Construction firm and I are standing with an architect and a structural engineer looking at the steel roof structure of the church addition I am in charge of building in Miles City. The architect and engineer are debating the need for additional bracing on the steel tresses to restore the integrity of the structure for both lateral movement and snow deflection because some of the X-braces had to be removed in order to accommodate the duct work which had to be installed above the level of the suspended ceiling grid.
I needed to be involved in this conversation because I, as the project superintendent, am responsible for making happen whatever they decide was needed, and I wanted to make sure I understood the intent of the bracing, the method of application, and placement while using my years of experience to have intelligent input on what was obviously
a let’s make this up as we go along scenario on their part, which is what much of construction and post planning stage field engineering is.
Did any of you find that hard to follow? If you did it may be because you don’t speak the language. As is often the case─ and I know all of you can relate to this─ I found myself in a position where I had to put on my specialized hat and speak a language I wouldn’t use everywhere, or anywhere, else. I was using a jargon particular to this circumstance─ technical terms that communicate things only people with similar knowledge and experience understand yet require in order to A: understand you, and B: take you seriously in your position as the one to get it done.
It can be intimidating, and used to be— but I have been doing it long enough now that I am confident and at ease when having these conversations with people who have letters after their names, I speak the language.
So, Monday I am going to use a 110 wire feed with .30 wire to place ¼ fillet weld on the butts and intersections of the 1x1x1/16 angle I am adding as x-bracing in the first bay to create a box from which to stabilize all the other tresses that are connected by horizontal bracing already welded to the bottom cords.
You got that right? Many of you— not so much. I wonder if that’s the way a lot of the world feels when we talk to them about our faith or when they hear us talking to one another. Most of the world doesn’t speak Christian E’s, they don’t understand our language. What is sin anyway, sancti-what? Rapture, tithe, redemption, holiness, Old testament, New testament, epistle, gospel— sounds like a bunch of gobbly-gook to most of the world, the world we all live in.
In the world
There is an often used saying in the church, that we are “In the world but not of it” This comes largely from the words of Jesus in John 17 as he is praying for his disciples just before his arrest: 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
Indeed, in the world—citizens and occupants of a world that was created for us by a loving God that has become corrupt and evil beyond description—but not of the world, for we have been redeemed, the ransom paid to save us from the ravishes of this world and the penalty to come for those who submitted to the powers of darkness that now dominate this world while refusing the truth and redemption freely offered to them by the creator.
I believe we go a long way towards fulfilling the great commission, towards honestly representing the Kingdom of Heaven so that others may choose to be saved from the despair of this world and judgement to come —on the perpetrators of that despair— by being open, honest and sincere. Being yourself while remembering who you are; a loved child of God who was created in his image and by him in a way that makes you unlike any other human being that has ever lived.
You are uniquely made —from the complexity of the DNA that makes you unique physiologically— to the spirit which gives your life and makes you cognizant of where and who you are in the universe while at the same time causing you to ask the questions as you try to understand more and more of the nature of that place.
No other creature in all of creation does that, we are unique, you are unique—truly created in the image of God. So you are inherently good. If we embrace the person who God created us to be while recognizing and shunning the corruption that creeps in from the evil influences of this fallen world, we can truly make a difference in this world─ In the world but not of it; the world needs us, people also created in his image, woefully deceived and misled need us, we need to learn to speak their language. -Right?
Actually that was a trick question. All of us already speak several languages of this world, we just don’t realize it or recognize the importance and advantage of it, at least not for the Kingdom.
Go where God leads you, preach the gospel he gives you to those in your world. We all have access to a world that few other believers may occupy, where even fewer believers are willing to occupy, let alone preach in. We all speak different languages and by that I don’t mean foreign languages, I mean that we can relate to people in certain circles, where we are comfortable, where we have had experience’s, where people don’t look at us and say, “Where are you from?”
Worry less about where you should or could go and look at those before you who are asking the questions; “What is it all for? Am I loved? Do I have a purpose? Can you tell me, can anyone tell me, I don’t understand!” Those questions are coming from your neighbors, your coworkers, your family… your children. You speak their language like no one else can, give them hope.
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. John 17
That’s why you were sent into this world. You have a purpose.
Be there, don’t give up.