I Don’t Want To Go To Work

OK, I don’t want to go to work today.  I really, really don’t want to.

I’ll bet you want to know why.  Well, I’m going to tell you even if you don’t.  That’s how it is for writers, we get to say it even if no one wants to listen.

See, work did some restructuring.  No one lost their jobs but a LOT of people aren’t sure of what their job is any more.  Most of them don’t like where they will be doing it.

As far as I know, I’m going to just be plugging along doing the same stuff I’ve always done…too much.

So, the ones affected are terrified as to how the change is going to impact their job and, in some cases, their whole lives.  The ones least affected are worried that something else is coming down the pike and they will be cast into the midst of seeming chaos.

I guess I could worry about that, too.  But I’m not.

I’ve been in far worse situations.  I’ve sat across the table looking at a man as he explained they could hire two guys to do what I do for the same salary.  So, I was being let go.

Me.  The guy that held down a job no matter how ridiculously I live my life, how irresponsibly, no matter what.  I kept a job and suddenly, I was unemployed.

When I found out, the wind came out of my sails.  I had, in a few short sentences, a handshake and an envelope with severance pay in it, become somehow less of who I was.  I felt like crying, screaming, running, crawling, curling up in a ball and jumping off the roof all at the same time.

Honestly, I went from being depressed to hurtling into the darkest depression of my life that lasted many years.

Even when God intervened, I had still lost part of myself.  I couldn’t be quite as grateful as I ought to be because I felt un-restored, lost and quite afraid of what was going to punch me in the gut next.  I was afraid.

Even though God provided, I was afraid.

For some reason, I thought that at any minute, the rug would fly from under me and I’d fall and God wouldn’t be there this time, next time.

When God brought me to this opportunity, this job, I was still that same man.  I came into this building afraid.  Some people saw it as moody, arrogant and obnoxious, but I was afraid.  I didn’t think I could do that whole losing a job thing again.

But, I will sit in my office today and not be afraid.  I will see fear all around me.  But, I am not going to be fearful no matter how strong the tide of fear gets.  After all, a little fear can swirl into a great big storm of fear, dragging all who feel it in.

Isaiah 35:4 Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.”

The enemy is fear, depression, anxiety, addiction, grief and the whole rest of the list of things that take over humankind’s lives.

Make God your god!  Do it now, right now while you are still getting ready for a day of uncertainty.  These things are coming for you but God is going to destroy them and save you.

Just make God you god.

Put the job behind him.  Put those people behind him.  Put that uncertainty behind him.  Put anything that has caused you not to see him behind him, so that HE is the prominent figure in your thoughts and actions, hopes and dreams and your reasons to get up in the morning.

No, work isn’t where I want to be this morning.  But I’m not going to be there alone, even if I am the only one that shows up.  God is coming with me and my enemies are cruisin’ for a bruisin’ today.

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Work and God

I don’t know about you but sometimes I am tempted to be a closet Christian.  I want all the benefits of being a Christian; salvation, God’s love, blessings, help and a nice place to live in heaven.  I don’t really want to be subjected to the trials of being a Christian or the pressure of the added accountability to the expectations of others.

So, I figure that if I just keep kind of quiet about the whole God thing that I sneak by under the radar.

Needless to say, since I have begun doing all this writing I’m not quite as under the radar that I used to be.  I’m no longer able to just cruise along in my relationship with God and include no one else.  That has been a really good thing.  I have gained more support in my life in nearly every aspect.  I have God working in me like he has never done before and he uses all the other people that have come into my life through my opening up to them to help me.  Even the ones that have hurt me have taught me important lessons whether they intended to or not.

Still, at work I struggle to be the man I need to be.  I don’t know why I am so intimidated by those surroundings.  When things get tough there I tend to revert to some of my not-so-good qualities of intimidation and manipulation to get what I want.  I get angry at times when I really wished I hadn’t and I don’t offer support and help to others like I should.

I certainly hope I am a better man there than I used to be but sometimes when we are growing things don’t go so well.  I think I have been going through the awkward years there.  I’m growing from the spiritual baby I was for far too long and am struggling to find some spiritual maturity in my workplace.  I think I put that priority below my other relationships.  I looked at it as a necessary evil rather than an opportunity.

I’m not sure what sort of changes there are to come.  In the past, I have felt as if I have become irrelevant and unimportant there.  I don’t have to accept that and live with that. I have every opportunity to make work a lively and rewarding experience.  I need to make more good choices while I am there.

I think it is because it is so easy to hear all the negative stuff going on around me.  When I go to church, most of the people who don’t want to be there aren’t there.  When I go fishing, optimism is over-flowing.  When I attend Celebrate Recovery, I am safe and free to share with no fear of judgment.  But at work I am judged and my first reaction is to judge others in return.

So I tend to hide who I really am as if that is going to make things better.  I feel that if I let them see how much I care or how deeply I feel emotion that I will suffer for it, so instead I would rather suffer in solitude.  That’s kind of like having an open wound and letting it bleed in hopes that I would live to make it home and bandage it there.

God is not weaker when I go to work.  He is there with me and he doesn’t make me a worse employee, he makes me a better one.  Why do I choose to put him under a basket to wait till I leave for the day?

Mark 4:21 Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. 22 For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. 23 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

We used to sing a little song at church called “This Little Light of Mine”.  One of the lines was: “Hide it under a bushel? NO!  I’m gonna let it shine.”  Here I am a grown man still afraid to stop hiding the light.

That’s what it is, fear.  I claimed to have very few fears for my whole life.  A fear of heights has robbed me of a few cool opportunities in my life.  That’s not a very big deal. But my fear of shining a light has caused me to live in darkness for too long.  There is no need to live in darkness when the light goes wherever I go.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

I guess I haven’t really gotten to the part where I have managed to trust in the Lord with all my heart.  There are times I still needlessly put the trust in myself and that is why maybe if my co-workers were to read this, I would look like some sort of hypocrite at times the way I say mean things trying to hide them behind jokes or my whining and complaining.

Perhaps, it is time to burn that basket and allow the light to shine wherever I am.