Rocket Science

A story of loving one’s neighbor through daily work

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By Trevor Lee

Trevor Lee is the lead pastor at Trailhead Church in Denver and is a part of our Church Partnership Network. He shared this story of a member of his congregation living out his faith in the engineering field.

Matt Donovan, a member of our church, is a rocket engineer – his work actually is rocket science.

A couple months ago, he sent me a link to a video with this message: “We talk a lot about connecting vocation with God’s mission in the world and I thought I’d share a really cool story from our launch last week.”

I clicked the link and Matt’s face popped up. What I saw next was one of the best stories about the power of work to love our neighbors I’d ever seen.

To see for yourself, navigate to the 8:15 mark of this video:

This is a powerful story, and there is a specific aspect of it that captured me.

The rescue of slaves in Asia would not have happened without the work of a host of people – machinists, engineers, oil workers, computer designers, plastics manufacturers, law officers, and many more.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of people who contributed to the freeing of these slaves, most of whom will never consider this outcome of their work. Some of those workers are stuck in jobs they hate, working to make it through another day and get a paycheck.

Some of those workers don’t believe their work has any value or makes any difference in the world. I wish they all could see Matt’s story.

It is so easy to dismiss the ways our work is an expression of love to our neighbor. In fact, many people don’t dismiss this notion, they just never have it.

Take a few minutes and consider the “neighbors” loved by your work who you will never meet. Who is impacted directly – and indirectly – by your work? What other work is made possible by the work you do?

As you let your imagination go, make a list of the people impacted by your work and the ways the world is made better because of what you do.

And then, go back into your work, motivated by the fact that even in the things that might seem mundane –  like machining a screw for a satellite – you are loving your neighbor.