Greetings my faithful intrepid venturers!
In all my journeys I’ve always been able to look back and reflect on the times I had the most fun and the most pain. In this short article I discuss the latter with the most candid intimacy as one can muster on this medium. I hope you are inspired by the following account.
These last few months I’ve been working doing manual labor. It is not a fun job nor is it what really satisfies me. Nonetheless, a job’s a job right? Well, that’s the way I looked at it for about six months. Finally, however, the fatigue caught up to me.
‘Why am I working here?’ I thought to myself. ‘I’m not enjoying it. Heck, I’m not even appreciated! The overseers are sure to criticize any fault in the procedure. But, do they ever say ‘thank you’ or ‘good job’? Nope! This is such a negative atmosphere!’
All of those things are true. Things came to a head when our busy season began. I began to see people around me even more consumed with disgust for the job than I was. Seeing them react thus made me more aware of my own attitude. Finally, one day I raised my voice at the supervisor in protest of his comments. He calmed down a little and became a little slower to criticize…for the time.
Sewunu, a work friend of mine from Nigeria, shared his feelings on the matter. He said ‘it’s just a job. I just go in there and am grateful for a job. I do what I’m told and don’t complain. Back in Nigeria we don’t even have breaks. I know that I must do what I must here before I can start my own company some day.’
His words, as well as my own prayers and reflections, caused me to see my own struggle up close: I was dissatisfied with the job and becoming frustrated and sour. Becoming thus did not help me or the job. I decided to make the most of my ordeal. I decided that I must do the best I can, keep fostering my job search and be grateful for where I am now. Aye. I found inner peace and rest in the words of apostle Paul who wrote ‘in all things I am instructed to be content and suffer need.’ (Philippians 4)
So I went to work with a new attitude. An attitude of gratitude. I began to pay less attention to how hard I worked and began to simply give thanks from the beginning of the job till the end regardless of how backed up we were.
The results were impossible to ignore. I felt better about myself, I paid no attention to the moody overseer, I spent time getting to know my co-workers, I did better at my job, and I left work with no burdens to speak of. It’s incredible!
Those hard words of gratitude still ring true. I’m the ‘starving artist’ type just making it paycheck to paycheck, albeit with a positive attitude. With regards to the future, I must foster my career goals and pursue them. But, for the present, I must be grateful for where my feet are planted…while my heart yearns to go ever forward.
It is that delicate balance that allows to keep swimming…ever forward without drowning.
Thank you for reading. May God richly bless your week.