By: June Quek
When I started work, all that I had learnt in church and what I experienced at work became 2 different sections of my life. I had a lot of difficulties reconciling these two parts of my life, unknowing to me. I say that because, I knew that putting God 1st is the right thing to do. This was head knowledge. But when I was in the world, I didn’t realise that I was subtly bought into the values of the world, such as building my self-esteem by being excellent in my work.
I started struggling with the concept of doing God’s will in my early 20s. But at the same time, I was also struggling with finding my role at the workplace. I was bonded to the hospital, so there wasn’t a choice of moving to another organization. I had holes in my heart which I did not know how to and what to fill them with. Unknowingly, I was tricked into adopting the values of the world such as building my self-esteem and self-worth by doing well at work, helping patients to get well and being appreciated for it and building my skills and knowledge. I went on to do my masters for specialty training in 2005 in Australia. When I returned, I was reaffirmed at work with promotion, responsibilities to teach and mentor but I never felt fulfilled or contented. My dream was to be a well known physiotherapist in Singapore. I’ve treated some very powerful people in the country and I was even featured in various newspapers. So, I’ve been there, done that. But still, that sense of deep fulfilment was missing.
The turning point came when I was approached to do ministry full time in church. I seriously considered it, and after praying, thinking about it, and consulting some people, I decided that I’d do it. God did not give me His peace, however. That was when I realized that God wanted me to go through the process of searching what His calling is for my life. And at that point in time, it was to be at the marketplace. After that, there was not only peace, there was a complete change of mindset and attitude as I lived each day at the workplace. The job was the same, the patients were the same but my response and attitude towards work and the people at work radically changed. I no longer have a “xianess” or dread to go to work because there was a sense of purpose. All that I was craving for, I thought could be found in becoming an expert in my field, and being known for it was all falsehood and deception and lies planted by the deceiver. I now see work not just as my occupation but a vocation or calling. I no longer see it as a place to get what I want but a place to reflect the right kingdom values. My focus is no longer on striving but on giving. I don’t treat my workplace as a place just to get my salary needed for life, but a place that is vital and an exciting place to be because God is present and working in the people He sends to me. It is a ministry in itself.