Surround Me with Christians, Lord
By Heidi Krumenauer
- Corporate America has a way of taking a toll on a Christian. Universally, it appears that the office environment is all the same – backstabbing, rumor mills, sucking up to the boss, pushing to get ahead. It’s a wonder any work gets accomplished with all the extracurricular activity among the worker bees.
It had been a particularly grueling day with particularly high level of anxiety, conflict, arrogance, nastiness and general tension among my co-workers. I had pushed through the day, counting down the hours to call it a week, and I was looking forward to spending the rest of the evening at home with my husband and boys. At least they will get God, I thought.
I secluded myself from the office activities long enough to pray: “Lord, am I the only one here who gets You today? Do these people even know you exist? And if they do, can you please help them see what a mess they are making of my day?”
I felt very alone – very isolated from other Christians. But God knew I needed to feel some inclusion again, so he made the drive home an interesting one.
Just a mile from the office, I pulled up behind a car with the license plate reading “1ST PRAY”. Once on the Interstate, I changed lanes and ended up behind a car sporting “13 COR 13” (Corinthians 13:13 – “…the greatest of these is love.”)
I was starting to see God’s message in the traffic. A couple miles up the road, a truck pulled in the lane ahead of me – his bumper sticker said “Jesus Saves”. In the lane next to him, a car displayed the ichthus (fish).
“OK, God,” I prayed. “It’s very clear. Even when I don’t always see it, I’m surrounded by You and people who love You.”
I continued to thank God for providing such a clear visual for me, but in my prayer, I wondered how many days I, too, act in an unpleasing manner just like my co-workers were doing today. How many times do others wish they could count on me to provide a Christian-like environment, but I don’t offer them one? Were there days that my co-workers also felt isolated from other Christians, and I was a reason for their pain?
In 1 Peter: 3:8, he lists the characteristics of a believer as “…harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.” I knew how badly I felt that day at work, existing in an environment that reflected none of these qualities. Exodus 23: 2 says: “You shall not follow the masses in doing evil…” And I was sure I had. No, in fact, I knew I had.
For years I’ve driven around with my own ichthus on the trunk, proudly showing other drivers there’s a Christian behind the wheel of my car. And while that’s probably enough for them to know that – to know they’re sharing road space with someone who loves the Lord, it’s not enough for the people I work with. They need – and deserve – to see more than a sign of my Christianity.
They need to see me living it daily.
For the one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and his ears attend to their prayer. (1 Peter 3: 10-12)
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Heidi Krumenauer lives in Stoughton, WI with her husband and two sons. She has recently contributed to the book When God Steps In.
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