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"I am a maker,” Andrew Meyer, 33, said. "I love to make things. I am never happier than when I am building something or making something." Concocting tasty treats in his kitchen with friends or putting boards together to build a piece of furniture are common weekly undertakings.
Millions of people pay taxes, fees, or other governmental obligations via online resources. If you are one of those people, maybe you have benefited from Meyer’s work over the last decade. The front-end web developer works for NIC Federal. NIC has built a strong reputation building websites for government agencies in more than 30 states. Past projects include the Iowa governor's office, the Iowa Department of Education, and the first website allowing Polk County residents online access to pay property taxes.
The bulk of Meyer's professional efforts have focused on making people’s lives easier by writing the code dictating a site’s appearance. No one knows who's behind the website, but Andrew's invisible work helps make people's lives better.
"A lot of people recognize the problems with the government, they recognize the inefficiencies, recognize the failings, and that is frustrating, especially when we don't have a choice whether or not we pay taxes," Andrew said. "One of the things that has been really rewarding about my job is the ability to make it a little bit better. The way our company is set up, we don't make money when stuff isn’t working. When things work really well, that's when we get paid, but it's also the best thing for citizens."
Merit-based earnings is an easy-to-understand concept. Standing in stark contrast is God's gift of grace. Raised by godly parents in a Christian home, Meyer’s childhood ears were no stranger to the gospel and the route of salvation outlined in the Bible. Identifying his flawed nature was easy, and he knew he needed saving, but he didn’t understand how it worked. As a pre-teen, Andrew grappled with the idea of trusting Jesus for salvation.
“It seemed disingenuous that you can just pray something, and God just forgives you,” Andrew said. “Is that fair? Is it really that easy? Is that a cop out? Is it okay that somebody just prays, and they get out of hell?”
During the summer leading into seventh grade, Meyer began spending every night before bed, alone, with an open mind, an open Bible, and a journal. “It was just very much me and God,” Andrew said.
No one was measuring him. There were no performance markers. He felt no pressure to say what people wanted to hear, and he found it refreshing. “I was not doing this to convince somebody else or to please somebody else,” Andrew said. “I mean, I think now it was the Holy Spirit sort of beckoning me.”
The Word took root in his heart, and Andrew fell face first into faith, gratefully accepting his unearned forgiveness. “God's Word is so good,” Andrew said. “It's so nourishing. What started out as what was at times a chore, quickly became a delight.”
To Do Good
Work was part of God's plan from the beginning. Andrew strives to view his work as a blessing, not something he dreads.
“Adam and Eve were put in a garden to work before sin. Work is not a consequence of sin. Work being strenuous is a consequence of sin, but work itself is a good, redemptive thing," Andrew said. "It breaks my heart when people who are doing good, God glorifying work, do it as a chore because they don't understand that it's good and God glorifying work. In some ways that makes it so much more valuable. You're working for the Lord.”
It breaks my heart when people who are doing good, God glorifying work, do it as a chore because they don't understand that it's good and God glorifying work.
Producing goods or providing services generally adds value to someone else’s life, even when the benefit isn’t readily viewable.
“The cobbler who builds your shoes is a conduit of God’s grace to us because we need shoes, whether or not they fear the Lord,” Andrew said. “I feel like I can be a conduit of God’s common grace to people because they need the services that the government is here to provide. So if I can make that work better, it's actually to the glory of God.”
Faith and work are not separated in Andrew's brain. As a Christian, Andrew wants to submit his life to Jesus in every area. Work is important to him because God gave it and has called him to it.
Nothing that you do for the King is unimportant.
“Understanding that we're serving the King in the way we do our jobs—there is a lot of good in that," Andrew said. "At the end of the day we’re working for Him, ultimately. And that raises our bar for what's acceptable at work. Nothing that you do for the King is unimportant.”