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Three “Gap” Theories

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I have three blogs in the works, but I haven’t posted anything in a few days. For the 2-4 people who seem to comprise my regular readership, I thought I’d post something about my job. Sorry for everyone who thought I’d delve into a lengthy discussion on Genesis 1.

There are three entertaining responses people have to learning when I tell them I work at Gap:

“Oh, weird, I wouldn’t imagine you working there!”

“I could totally see you working there!”

“That’s funny. You know what makes you…right?”

The first response comes from people who know theological David. These people associate me with any one of three general topics: predestination, John MacArthur, or something to do with how I don’t like the Emergent movement. Although a few people in Bellingham see me like this, the people who would think this about me are more likely to have known me growing up, since I was so heavily (and providentially!) immersed in Calvinism in high school. The Gap is a perpetual symbol of pop culture, so a theological nut like myself ought to feel uncomfortable in a setting that seems to symbolize “the world” to such an extent. Shoppers find low cut blouses, high cut skirts, and low-rise jeans at Gap. So, my presence there seems to be either some sort of inconsistency in my conservative values, or a blatant capitulation to my fleshly desires.

The second response comes from people who see me primarily as assertive, loud, and (lately) more fashionably dressed, social David. To imagine someone like that working in retail is no stretch of the imagination. These people are less likely to be familiar with 195 pound, golf shirt wearing, tuft-of-hair-in-the-front, Senior year of high school David. I wouldn’t say I didn’t care about style; I just didn’t have any. But that was ok, I really didn’t care what people thought of me as long as they knew that God elects them to be saved prior to their response in faith.

The last response comes from people who like to get a reaction out of me; these people know defensive David. They know I’m conservative, and they know why I’d work at Gap too; but instead of focusing on that, they know I’ll get irritated when they insinuate that working at Gap is supposed to mean I’m gay, since it would be impossible for me to know how to fit jeans for women and actually find them attractive at the same time (I do, and it helps…though I really try not to pull a Matt. 5:28). Add on to that the assumption that GAP stands as an acronym for “Gay And Proud” and you can guarantee I’ll get at least slightly defensive. I’m realizing how often people mess with me just to get a reaction!

The truth is, I work there because it’s a very enjoyable job. I walked in to work today, clocked in, grabbed some free candy, put on my name tag, and proceeded to greet friendly customers with “Hello, how are you?” all day. I usually get smiles from people when I do this. My manager never had any criticism for me, just the instructions: “work on section two”, “you’re my main cashier”, and “we have a GapCard goal of seven today”. All I really had to do was fold clothes, answer questions, and be a genuinely friendly person to as many people as possible for three and a half hours. Plus, we got a great new CD for our store soundtrack, so my manager and I were both singing along to the Police’s “Message in a Bottle”!

Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

During my time working, I’ve made it a fairly regular goal to have an attitude that comes out of that verse. All my co-workers (who’ve worked for more than 4 weeks with the store) know that I’m a Christian, and it means something very real and practical to me. I’ve had a chance to share my faith with many of them directly. I’ve also gotten to learn about what their views are about their lives. No one has ever made fun of me for my relationship with Christ (to my knowledge), and many people seem to have a certain respect for my convictions.

I think it’s a great job, overall. I am grateful that the Lord has opened this path for me.

[The Gap logo is taken from http://www.wikipedia.com. It serves to illustrate the company about which I am writing, as well as the company for which I work.]

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