We often say at Redemption that “all of life is all for Jesus.” This quote has incredible implications for every facet of life, including our work. Here, Shawn Disarufino shares how he connects his work as an experimental test pilot to God’s work.
How would you describe your work?
I am an experimental test pilot. My work is primarily flying helicopters to test new and/or improved designs. As a test team, we work to individually improve each of the aircraft’s characteristics. Generally, my role is to fly the aircraft and evaluate and provide feedback for improvement.
As an image bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work?
In the design aspect of what I do, I see my work reflecting God’s work of design. The Wright brothers patterned their designs after watching birds fly. God designed those birds and called humans to have dominion over the air. In a sense, I follow God’s imperative for people to have dominion in the air. My job itself isn’t designing, per se, but testing designs. In other words, I’m trying to create ideal solutions to meet technical needs which will glorify God in their design and function. So as God’s image bearer, I get to help test designs that will hopefully add functional value to our world!
How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world?
On the macro level, much of what I do is a direct response to human brokenness. Helicopters exist because wars are raging, injustice is happening, or people need to be rescued from broken circumstances. On the micro level, I experience interpersonal brokenness in my everyday workplace. This is true in any job: people are backbiting, power-hungry, greedy, self-serving, arrogant, etc. – and that includes me. Since the test programs at my work can be stressful, the collective brokenness of everyone can be exacerbated.
Jesus commands us to ‘love our neighbors as ourselves.’ How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?
One of our vision statements at work says “My work has a direct and powerful effect on the quality of life for people around the world.” If you think about it, this statement has a lot of redemptive undertones to it. That is, when we do our jobs well, our customers are provided with a product that enables them to safely carry out whatever mission they are assigned: rescuing people from a boating accident, shipping mail or supplies to those in need, protecting troops on the ground, connecting families via air travel, etc. The point is: if I do my work with excellence, the end result will be a product that has the ability to bless other image bearers.