September 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

A homeless man in Paris

Image via Wikipedia

Work. It’s how we make money. We live on money. Almost nothing can be accomplished without it.

Work. It’s important. For most people, it’s how we spend eight hours a day, five days a week. It should, hopefully, be pleasant. But it’s not so for everyone. Some people don’t have a choice. They have to work to make money. People must be clothed and fed and sheltered. Well, you could become a homeless bum and beg on the streets, but let’s face it. That’s also work. A different kind of work, but it’s still work.

I’ve only had one job that I thought wasn’t just a job but also a vocation. The work itself was fulfilling. That was my job as a youth minister. I felt that fulfilled a calling and that I was doing important work. However, in the end, working for a church is very stressful, and I felt that my temperament was perhaps not well suited to that profession. You see, contrary to the way that you would think that Christians would be, Christians are hypercritical, and it’s actually much easier to work in the corporate world.

I’ve had lots of jobs, and some have been better than others. At some, I’ve really had the chance to grow and learn and use my intelligence. At some, I’ve had the opportunity to use my people skills. At some jobs, I’ve used both. I very rarely use my writing skills, so I might as well not have any. At some jobs I’ve flourished and been happy. At other jobs I’ve been miserable and abused, keeping my nose to the proverbial grindstone.

Regardless of how I felt about the job, I’ve always done my best to act with integrity and do the best job that I can do. I’ve always done that in every job, regardless of how I was treated or whether or not I had given notice or even if I thought I was going to get fired. And for me, that’s important. After all, a job is not a right; it’s a privilege that you earn. It’s a blessing. No matter where you are working, I guarantee you that someone else out there would give his right arm to have your job.

Regardless of what Dale Carnegie says about the matter, you can’t actually make people like you. You can do your best, but not every job is going to be a good fit. Now, you can choose to be bitter about that. Lord knows I have on occasion. You can also choose to beat yourself up. I’ve done more of that, frankly. I always assumed that if some employer didn’t want me that I was lacking something. But I’m not lacking anything. Sometimes a square peg tries to fit itself into a round hole. That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with the square peg. It just needs to find a square hole.

A job is just a job. Another one always comes along. Maybe someday I’ll find another vocation, but until then someone will always pay me to be underemployed. I have to find other ways to be fulfilled. Work is work. It’s not a life.


Entry filed under: Faith, Money and Finances, Social Commentary. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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