What Do You Do?

How do you answer the question, "So what do you do?"

How do you answer the question, “So what do you do?”

When someone asks, “So, what do you do?”—most people expect a one-liner that describes a line of work or passion. Such labels might be, “I teach school,” or “I run marathons,” or “I’m a doctor,” or “I’m a musician.” I like the reply that the author/poet Emma Lou Thayne offered when asked that question. She said, “I do people.” I want this to be my answer too—focusing on people—in every season of life, no matter what other titles I wear. I’m still learning and will never get it mastered, but I’ll never quit trying. Focusing on people means getting outside myself and into the hearts of others with empathy and advocacy. It’s seeking new relationships while nurturing old ones. It’s ministering in countless creative ways. Leo Tolstoy—a favorite author of mine said, “The purpose of life is simply to grow in love.” Isn’t there a distinction between falling in love and growing in love? Falling is effortless; growing takes time and effort. “The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people…Could this be because the way we treat each other is the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ?” (Marvin J. Ashton). I think the most important use of my time is to invest it in people. So next time someone asks, “What do you do?”—watch the surprised response to your answer: “I do people!”

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