The weekly TGCvocations column asks practitioners about their jobs and how they integrate their faith and work. Interviews are condensed.
Nate lives in Maryland with his wife, Becky, and daughter, Lina. Due to the sensitive nature of his work, we cannot disclose where he works.
How do you describe your work, what you do every day?
I am an electrical engineer at a company that designs radar and other electronic systems, primarily for U.S. defense applications. My work directly involves designing and building radar and electronic warfare systems. I am also part of a team that tests those systems prior to delivery, ensuring they meet performance requirements.
As an image-bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work?
God’s Word shows us that he cares for the oppressed (Ps. 9:9, Is. 1:17). Much of my work is driven by the same motive. The systems we build equip our warfighters to better defend nations that have no way to defend themselves. These systems continue to aid the United States in defending the cause of the helpless and stopping those bent on conquering and oppressing others.
How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world?
The brokenness of the world is the reason my job exists. If we did not live in a broken world, there would be no need for national defense or a strong military. Mankind’s wickedness—greed, pride, and depravity—creates the market for my company’s business. We must build radar to watch our borders, since some seek to take innocent lives. We build sensors to detect bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), in order to safeguard lives that others wish to take. We maintain the most advanced electronic systems in the world, to ensure our capability to protect ourselves and others from those who have no respect for human life. These systems on which I work daily remind me that the world is broken by sin.
Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?
Like any job, the opportunity to serve others is always there, I just have to respond to the opportunities. Some days it’s as simple as picking up some extra work so a co-worker can take off to attend his kid’s school play. On the harder days, loving my neighbor means forgoing recognition and allowing another to receive the credit. In my day-to-day work, loving and serving others simply means doing my job as well as possible, since the quality of my work directly affects the safety of the warfighter, the one who is putting his life on the line to serve us.