I just finished doing ‘Warrior’ with my fave Tony from P90x3, I’m sipping a carrot & orange smoothie in a wine glass and I’m listening to Gregory Alan Isakov. Basically, it’s been a most peaceful Saturday.
But this week hasn’t been all calm – it’s been more raging seas and crashing waves than soft waters. Let me just say: work can be hard. It’s tiring, frustrating, humbling and usually not nearly as exciting as the Linkedin description makes it seem. During the phone interview you are told the team is tight-knit, that you will really be appreciated. The thing is, so much more goes into a job than just bright ideals promised over the phone: there are stressful weeks, busy bosses, crazy home-lives. Certain seasons in work too, are difficult.
Walking to work each day I’ve tried to listen to different sermons on work, stewardship, rest and stress. Those all seem like important subjects as I begin this new journey in an extremely fast-paced environment.
These are the points I’ve gathered and focused on from them smart chaps:
- Work is good, and that is a surprising testimony
If you ask most people around you, you won’t see excited reactions about work. It seems like more of a task that we have to accomplish each day to get a pay check at the end of the 30.
Not only that, certain types of jobs will be more praised than others either through the social status they give, or the influence they have. But the thing is, I could give you a million reasons why a less paid job, a less respected position is completely to be glorified and acclaimed.
In Genesis, we see our God with his hands in the dirt. He’s a builder, an architect, a gardner. Whether your theology says creation or evolution I couldn’t care less, but one of the central characteristic of God is that He is creator. In that garden, that perfect place, he wanted men and women to work.
Work was good.
2. Rest is central to good work
When it was all done, all happy times and satisfying, we are told He rested. He did a little Netflix & chill (kind of, not in that way, because that’s gross. Unless you married than you go glen coco). The way you will be your best at work is when you remember to rest, to let go of your work and truly get a deep peace. Only in the Word and in giving up your worries can this state be reached – though a good day of PJs and cereal is a step in the right direction.
3. You work to live, you don’t live for work
Here’s the thing: I get how you could get so far into your job that it becomes the most important aspect of your person. I have much respect for christians in high-paying, high-stress jobs. Truly, your testimony can be exemplary and effective on so many levels. A good manager will be remembered forever! In all things, you should seek His glory (truly truly give your best, work your hardest). That’s a really good place to begin, but I’m aware that it can go too far – maybe, just maybe some of us get a little too convinced that work is the ultimate identity creator, and therefore, it is the most stressful thing. When have you have a week where you didn’t mess up royally at work? Because honestly, I’ve been a complete idiot every single day this week and if my identity depended on that I’d be eating my weight in pizza right now. Gluten-free, obvi you fool.
4. Thou shalt chill out and stop stressing out
I really like the idea that I’m a chill person. Like when I was Frenchie in Grease at school and I wasn’t that worried that I had no idea what my lines were right up until I heard the previous ones. And even then, lots of improv had to happen (sorry Mrs March).
But, when I perceive that my body is trying to yell at me for being clearly so stressed out I have to come to the realisation that I am not, actually, a chill person. I’m more of a “think of all the things that may go wrong in every possible scenario and what each person affected will think” and so on, kind of person. So, as much as that is a part of my DNA, I have to work hard on not letting it overcome my body. Sure, adrenaline is great for finishing a report due Monday – stress is more of a constant companion you have to learn to shut up: entrust your fears to your Father, take every thought captive and focus on others.
I love me a busy schedule. It’s pretty sexy to look at and satisfying to accomplish. But I’m also more aware now than ever that after all those long hours at the office, a broken spirit is much more expensive than the salary at the end of the month.
PS: thanks dearest dad, for sending me a verse every morning this week. I’m slightly lucky.