Photo by Benjamin Earwicker www.garrisonphoto.org/sxc
2012: A Year of Thanksgiving and Praise
Day 9: I'm Thankful for Work
I wasn't raised to be idle. In fact, I was raised on the old saying "Idle hands are the devil's workshop." Now, I will be the first to admit that there are times in my life when I carry this to an extreme and fill too many hours of my day with work, and not enough with other things. I tend to be a bit of a workaholic if I don't rein myself in. But, I would much rather be working than be bored with nothing to do.
In fact, I don't understand how people can be bored. It seems to me there is always something to do but never enough time to do it all. I guess I had my moments of boredom when I was younger. But, I don't think I suffered from boredom the way so many do now.
Our society has become addicted to entertainment, but doesn't seem to know how to entertain itself. Most people feel like they have to have music, or movies, or games, or something going on to entertain them constantly.
I can easily entertain myself by working in the yard, or on the computer, or in my house...
I'm thankful for work. I have an amazing job. I often work very long days. And there are often a lot of challenges. Sometimes I have to deal with things I would rather not deal with. And, because I'm the manager, when there is a problem, I'm usually the one who gets called in to deal with it.
Whether it's a staff issue, a customer issue, or even an equipment issue, I get called upon to fix it. The great thing is, I usually can, or at least I can get in touch with the right person who can fix it for me. And, of course, once the situation has been taken care of, I have a great sense of accomplishment... but, no time to rest on my laurels, because the next challenge is right around the corner.
But, the ability to solve problems is a wonderful skill that is always in high demand.
If you listen to the news or read the paper or news magazines, you know that there are a lot of people who are unemployed right now. But I believe that many of them are unemployed by choice. Oh, they will tell you they want to work, but they are incredibly selective about the type of work they are willing to do.
I find this to be especially true with very young, fresh-out-of-high-school kids. They expect to graduate from high school and walk into a good paying job in management with no formal education or actual work experience. And, while that might happen for the very few, it certainly isn't the norm.
I have found that some of my best jobs came about after "paying my dues". I worked for a large church in Southern California for 8 years. When I started working for them, I was actually between jobs and volunteered my time. After a few months, I decided that while I really enjoyed working there, it was time for me to get a paying job. When I told them I was going to have to leave, they hired me. Why? I had worked hard, done a good job, did whatever needed to be done without complaining, and had basically made myself indispensable -- or at least, very difficult to replace.
After I had my son, I went to work part time as a receptionist for a construction company. They weren't sure they wanted to hire me at first because I was "over qualified". But they hired me anyway. When I was ready to go full time, I gave them notice and let them know that I would be looking for another job. Rather than lose me, I was promoted into a higher paying, full time position. Sometimes you just have to get your foot in the door...
Why does this method work?
I believe it's God pouring out His blessings.
The 28th chapter of Deuteronomy lays out the blessings and the curses. The first 14 verses deal with the blessings that are promised to those who obey God and follow his commandments. Take a look at verse 12:
"The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow."
He promises to bless "all the work of thine hand".
In Ecclesiastes we are told:
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might..."
So, if flipping burgers is what's available, and you need to be able to provide for your family, maybe flipping burgers is what you need to do for a while. It could be that you will work your way up the ladder and end up owning the burger joint in a few years!
"God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work."
~2 Corinthians 9:8
But, we have to be willing to do the "every good work".
I have a great job. I'm able to do fun and creative things along with the hard work. Sometimes I get to have a hand in saving lives and returning a client's family pet to them healthy and happy again. I work for a more than fair Christian man, I get to play praise and worship music in my office and decorate my office walls with scriptures. And, I get to do work that God can bless so that I can provide for my family and be a blessing to others.
I'm thankful for work.