Sunday, August 30, 2009

Balanced Work Ethic

As a teenager, I never was really typical. Yes, I had more than my share of immature moments and impulses, but for the most part I kept my head on my shoulders pretty well. So when it came time for young adulthood, I mentally psshaw-ed the fact that I would succumb to the temptations that come with early professional life.

I feel very blessed to have a job I enjoy and that I do well. I never really expected for either of those things to happen. But still I find myself at a crossroads of deciding where this road is going to lead. Not my career path, necessarily, but what kind of a person am I becoming as I develop professionally.

Sometimes I think, "I should really invest this time that I'm single and childless into doing the long hours and heavy legwork into laying the foundation for my career." Well, that may be true, but at the same time I don't want to look back at this time and life and realize that my primary focus and accomplishment was professional. I want to look back and say, "Thank God that I was sowing seeds of righteousness to grow in my relationship with God!"

Now I'm not saying that pursuing a successful career and a relationship with God are mutually exclusive. They aren't! I believe and pray that my career successes (and sometimes failures) grow out of my faith. I believe firmly that any skills I have are not my own, but something God has entrusted me with at this time to glorify His name.

I think one of the ways I can glorify His name by being good at my job is by not doing business the way the world does. Already (and in increasing measure) I am finding myself doing battle with the beasts of pride and jealousy. In hindsight, it was so naïve to think that I would be above these, but I almost daily catch myself responding with anger to some way I feel someone is slighting me or disrespecting me. It's such an ugly thing, and I want to emphasize it is a constant battleground.

I've also faced the fact that sometimes, if you choose to die to yourself and live the way of Christ, you will lose by earthly measurements to those who act only in their own interest.

But I have great peace with the fact that regardless of what happens, and no matter how difficult it may be at times, if I sow the seeds of righteousness now in my professional life, there will be a spiritual harvest to reap. But really, tilling up the ground is the hardest part. And this is only a process I am now beginning. Many more rows to hoe!

Don’t be misled- you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
-Galatians 6:7-9

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Hi Ann,

I appreciate your dedication to your work at OC, and I'm glad you still enjoy it. Keep up the good work!