Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Tim Willard, co-author (with Jason Locy) of a new book called Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society. Rarely does a book resonate so deeply with me that I want to go out a buy a copy for everyone I know, but this one did just that. I wish I had it in my budget to actually follow through on that desire!
Instead, I have the pleasure of sharing some of the ideas discussed in the book, particularly as they relate to our work. I know that dealing with 'veneer' at work is something that I've encountered, and I would guess that you have too. The answers I was looking for go much deeper than simply 'taking off a mask.'
In this interview, Tim answers questions like...
- Why do you think we put on a veneer?
- What do you think this looks like at work?
- How do we sometimes apply technology as a veneer?
- How do we apply veneer through our purchasing decisions?
- How can workers or businesses be sensitive to this without losing a competitive edge?
- What about veneer and our relationship with God?
- How do we deal with the core issues that cause us to hind behind a veneer?
- What's God's role in helping us deal with those issues?
- What's the toughest part about being 'unveneered'?
- What does an 'unveneered' life look like?
You can watch the entire playlist of questions and answers from Tim here, or scroll down to see what he thinks about veneer and our relationship with God...
Full (29-Minute) Interview with Tim Willard: On Living and Working with Veneer, Relationships with God and Each Other, and What an Unveneered Life Looks Like
Tim Willard on veneer and our relationship with God...
Dan King: What would you say about the state of our culture's intimacy with God, especially in the workplace?
Tim Willard: Yeah! That's kind of my heart right there. People have always been telling me you really can't judge by saying this is veneer or the Church is veneer, but you do find in the Gospels and John's writing the idea that people will know you by your life and how we love one another. How we love God. It's hard---how do you balance your work life, engaging in social media and all the things we are inundated with, and find time just to steal away with the Lord? To me, those are some things we need to really step back and consider.
At the end of the book, we actually ask people to be open. We've allowed the language of culture to come down and surround us---maybe just peel it back and say, "Lord, we're open to spiritual renewal from within." We're looking to the Church to maybe get back to some basics, focusing on Scripture and prayer, even a contemplative abiding type of life where we are going back and seeking the Lord and the quiet and the stillness. I think it's very hard.
Some people say, "I don't do it that way, I don't worship the Lord that way, I can do it on the subway or whatever." That may be possible, but I do think we find in Christ an example of stealing away and being with the Father. And that takes intentionality in our culture. How do you find time in your schedule, Dan, with your little children, to just have sanity? You have to make time, and I think we even need to sacrifice some things for that.
Don't forget: We'll be starting our next book club on July 18th--enjoying the slow summer days with a journey through Luci Shaw's Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination and Spirit: A Reflection on Creativity and Faith. I hope you will join us!