[by Sandy McIntosh] Are you stressed by your employment? Most of us are. Security and a good paycheck are hard to find these days. Some of the safest jobs are now unstable. I have worked in places that were solid for a lifetime, and now they are gone, and I have seen people suffer in their employment.
I remember a single mother, struggling with divorce and raising two small children, but she had a job with IBM; as safe as a bank. When IBM cut back in her city, she lost that rock-solid job, and the results were painful to watch.
So if you have a problem with your work:
A) The problem is you, not them.
B) The problem is now, not then.
C) The problem is your life, not your job.
The problem must be fixed. Too many of us live with employment paralysis, a failure to act.
A) Ask any child to fix a problem, in any language, and you will hear “but it’s not my fault!” Have you learned the adult lesson “It’s not my fault, but it is my responsibility.”
Imagine a woman married to an irresponsible alcoholic. She could wait a lifetime for him to repair the damage he has done to their marriage. That’s only fair because it is his fault. This happens all the time.
People who break things can never repair the damage; they only break more things. And people who wait on them waste their lives.
If your employer creates problems, you take responsibility for the repairs. They break, you fix. It is your life.
B) Some people are prisoners of the past; they can never recover from frustration or guilt. We know about them, but we often miss the prisoners of the future. “I can’t take a risk because I’m waiting for …” Some of us waste our lives waiting for a promotion or retirement. We have earned some good thing that someone else has to give us someday, and we become prisoners of hope. I know some bitterly disappointed people who didn’t get what they deserved, “after all those years of faithful service, they owed me.”
The time to act is now. We need to make our own future, and God forgives the past.
C) Do you live in a city? Do you own a car? Most of us do. The whole life package is built around work. We commute to work so we can make money to pay for the tools we need to commute to work. A house and a car and related expenses usually come with a job, and they don’t come cheap.
This happens to truck drivers. The employer finances the truck and insurance, and the driver works to keep up the payments. When the truck is finally paid off they are told it’s too old for the fleet and they need to upgrade. You get the picture; the cycle never ends, and some drivers live on the road.
How would you live if work was not an issue? Play the game in your mind “If I won the lottery.”
So how is your life?
On a different topic, no project has changed the world for good like the work of a carpenter from the Middle East named Joshua, or Jesus in Greek. Do you know the story of how it all started?
Imagine a working day in a small nowhere town. A carpenter from another town, Joshua, says to you “Follow me.” Jesus started by calling people out of their frustrating lives.
A) Jesus made his disciples into leaders, rescuing lost people. He made them responsible when it wasn’t their fault.
B) Jesus called his disciples in the middle of their careers. The past was closed and the future was with Him. The rewards and punishments of the old life were erased.
C) Jesus led his disciples away from their fishing boats and shops. He gave them a new business that didn’t need those resources.
A tiny number of country people said “yes” and here we are today. The history of the whole world was radically changed, starting with that decision.
If we are honest, most of us need to make a decision like that. We need to fix the real problem.
Jesus left these instructions “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
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