(I will now break all cardinal rules for the internet by talking about work. I have never done this before.)
I'm having a hard time at work. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't environment. I strive to rise above the annoyances, abuse and negativity. Last week I failed utterly. Failure is tough when you take being an example seriously. I don't know how my work struggles will end. Sometimes I think I should get out while I still have sanity or while I can still get a good reference. On the other hand, when things are going well - which they are more than they aren't - I love my job, really love it. But it's a volatile environment governed by values I abhor.
Last week was horrible. I felt antagonized and abused and a co-worker is driving me absolutely bonkers. I snapped. I said nothing "bad," but I totally abandoned my convictions about letting stuff slide.
Years ago I had an epiphany that almost every struggle I gohad boiled down to pride, my pride. Since that revelation, I have made "let it go" a personal commandment. Last week I let nothing go. I behaved no better than my colleague and am quite ashamed of myself for being as small as she. (Work aside, I had some significant issues going on at home and that made my tolerance level pretty low. That's not an excuse, that's simply a fact. I was running on emotional fumes.)
At work, people are not appreciated or esteemed. I'm in a position of influence and think my purpose in being there is to improve the lives of those I work with. This is counter to the whole environment. It's a mission I take seriously; a mission I think God placed in my heart. I want desperately to make a difference in the lives of those I work with. When the going gets really tough, I try to remember God gave me a mission to improve the lives of my co-workers and that seems to make my resolve stronger.
Yesterday Pastor Serge spoke on God's purpose in our lives. ("David served God's purpose in his own generation." Acts 13:36) I was reminded that I have a purpose and an assigned job. Improving the lives of those I work with is a significant purpose in my life. It's far behind my relationship with God or my family, but nonetheless a God-given purpose.
Points from Pastor Serge's sermon that I will remind myself of regularly:
- When God gives a purpose, He equips us.
- God works in our desires. (My desire to better the lives of those I work with is a God-given desire.)
- He empowers me with certain skills.
- He is always with me, even when I mess up like I did last week.
- He provides development. Part of the development I see working in my life is last week's screw ups. He used that to remind me how badly I want to be better than that; how badly I want to be an example of joy, peace, patience and humility.
- It's not in vain and it will be rewarded. I may never know if I made a difference, but God knows my heart and my desires and He will reward my efforts.
- The reward will be based on my faithfulness. This is more encouragement to carry through with the mission and not succumb to the pride that wants to destroy me and that God-given purpose.
- My work will be tested. And it was. Last week.
- Works are an expression of my faith. My whole life is an expression of my faith. I want the work I do, the way I act, my smile, my concern for others, my casual greetings to my co-workers, I want it all to express my faith; to express that I am different.
- God is with me to fulfill His purpose. I was renewed by this reminder. I can go back to work tomorrow with a clean slate (in my heart) ready to continue the commitment to make a difference.
- David wasn't rejected by God when he sinned. Even having sinned big time, David served God's purpose in his generation. I can too.
(Disclaimer: This post by no means indicates I will be at this job forever. There will come a time when I leave. I don't want to leave prematurely and I want to leave knowing I have served God's purpose in my being there.)