Faith at Work: Wilson Whitehurst

Episcopalians on Baptismal Mission seeks to raise up and empower the ministries of all the baptized in their daily lives and challenges the Episcopal Church to do the same. In this vein, this ongoing column shares the stories of laypeople living their faith in the world.

How can asphalt be a spiritual experience? How can 40-ton tractor-trailers be part of a Godly life? These are the questions that come up when I attempt to connection my vocation and my spiritual journey.

I manage two family businesses. Whitehurst Paving performs maintenance contracts for the Virginia Department of Transportation involving a specialized process on rural roads throughout the state. Whitehurst Transport provides specialized services to the asphalt paving industry and fuel oil markets.

I am truly blessed in many ways through my job. First, I really love what we do in my businesses. We provide a product — well-maintained roads — that generates significant value in mobility and commerce. We help create a better quality of life for many of our neighbors. Secondly, I am my own boss. I can fashion my companies’ efforts in ways that I deem the most effective. I am free to create an environment whereby my employees can thrive and feel good about their work. Finally, I am free to generously reward those who work diligently to make our enterprise a success, thereby adequately supporting their families which I see as both a privilege and a responsibility.

Where is God in all of this business? How does my spiritual life mesh with my professional life? I have come to see that I am an agent for God’s grace through the way I interact and am involved with all of my employees. The compassion that I feel and the concern that I communicate can be spiritual blessings for me as well as for them. The tolerance I show when things don’t go so well, the genuine interest I feel for individuals are opportunities for living out my faith on a daily basis. Moreover, the way I conduct myself can hopefully serve as an example of spiritual faithfulness. It is my hope that my behavior can reflect my Christian values.

Thanks be to God for God’s grace and comfort throughout the week as I go about my business, doing what God would have me do.


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