Plight of the Blue Collar
Thinking Out Loud with Dave Hataj
The Plight of the Blue Collar is my story, where I was a lost shop kid, no sense of purpose, no sense of mission. Why am I on this planet? Well then I go to church and there’s this hierarchy that said, “Well, if you’re valuable to God, “you’re gonna be a Sunday school teacher, “a missionary, a pastor, whatever.” And rarely I’ve ever heard of in church anywhere that said, “Hey, you’re making gears. “You’re a carpenter, “you’re a plumber, you’re an electrician. “God bless you, man. “Let’s stand up and pray for all electricians today.” And there’s this very subtle message that we don’t count, except for our checkbook to fill the offering plate. Or to teach Sunday school or volunteer at the youth group. So, what I see is that Christianity, especially, has become incredibly irrelevant to middle America, at least in my world. God doesn’t really care about our work. God doesn’t care about the craftsman, the tradesman. So you have this army, the vast majority of the population out there, who has been sold goods that say, “Your life is about accumulating stuff. “It’s going to the casino, “it’s having a beer with your friends, “it’s getting obsessed about sports, “because your life is so empty “you need to fill it with something.” We need to change that message that says, “God cares desperately about your everyday life. “The kingdom of God comes through you, “more than anybody and how you act is, “you allow God’s goodness to come through you.” We have guys in the shop floor that exhibit goodness on levels that I often won’t see at church or around Christians, right, and I know it sounds harsh to say that, but we need to recapture that sense that all work is good. And all people, no matter their vocation can be God-ordained and called to be change agents in a very broken world. What these guys need, what we all need, is a safe place. We need to know we matter, we need to know that in spite of all of our screw-ups and our failures that we’re still valuable as people. That we can be part of a loving community. That we can be hopeful. We can be impactful in even the smallest of things throughout the day. And yet, that message of goodness just is flat out in my perspective not getting out to the general population. Churches should be standing and shouting from the tops of the steeples, “You are the people through whom the kingdom of God comes. “And it’s through your daily, “moment by moment transactions of goodness, “and your perspective.” God wants to work through each and every one of us. And what more, what do we want in life than to know that we matter? And that we are serving the greater good and serving God by just making gears or fixing a leaky toilet or whatever. That is powerful stuff. That’s the kingdom of God.
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