For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10
Yes, today is Sunday. Yes, most people are at home watching football – at least, that’s all they are talking about on Facebook today. And where am I? I’m at work. Does that sound like a complaint? If so, let me retract and start again.
Today is Sunday and it is a pretty, beautiful, sunny day in Atlanta. And I am at work. Yaaay. (Is that better?) Yeah, I didn’t think so. Ok, one more try.
Wow! What a blessing to be at work on the first Sunday of the New Year – the second day of January! I mean, there is a blessing in having a job (especially in this economy) and a double blessing to have a job that you sincerely, truly, (most days) LOVE. (I can honestly say that would be my claim about my job about 85% of the time…very rarely am I at the “I cannot stand that place and wish I never had to go back there”. (Been there, done that at other jobs – haven’t had that feeling here yet – and I have been here for 10½ years.) The work is not difficult. And while some days, the people are challenging, I am sure that there are many days that my co-workers wonder what did they ever do to get saddled with me as a co-worker. (I have been told I have a “strong” personality – y’think?) But as my daddy once told me (and as the Bible verse states above), “if you don’t work, you don’t eat.”
But even more than that, there are some other blessings that are inherent in having a job:
• the ability to pay the mortgage so that my mother and I have a safe, secure place to call home.
• the ability to buy groceries so that I can indulge my “foodie” tendencies and cook the food I enjoy eating that is nourishing to my body and soul
• having the wherewithal to share random acts of kindness with the friends and family who love and support me
• working a schedule that allows me to make memories with friends and family members during the day and on weekends
• having money to save so I can take the vacations I love
• having a schedule that, with the right amount of organization and planning, gives me more time to do the things that are important to me: spend time with my mother; spend time with God; write; exercise (ok, I’m still working on THAT one); cook healthy, nutritious meal; minister – to myself and others.
All of these things are great and wonderful. But there’s another blessing that I have found out recently about work and having a job. Over the last few years, unfortunately, I have had several friends who have been negatively impacted by the “economic downtick” – friends who have lost their jobs, and somehow with that loss, have lost their sense of self-worth and self-identity. As one friend told me recently, “I didn’t realize how much of my self-worth I had tied into what I did for a living, until I didn’t have a living for it to be tied to.” She confessed that, while she was unemployed, she didn’t feel “worthy” – worthy of dating a man who was interested in dating her; worthy of the gifts that friends tried to give her to help her over the financial hump she was facing – just not worthy of anything good at all. Thank God she has found work and she loves her new position – even though she had to take a huge cut in salary when she found it. She has found her feet again and for that, I am glad. (as is her new “honey” that she finally agreed to go out on a date with.)
So, it may have sounded like I was complaining when I started this. That was only for effect. I am happy to have a job, and glad to be at work – even on a sunny Sunday when there are plenty of other distractions calling for my attention. I am happy to be here because I have learned that there is value – more than just the overtime money that will be in the next paycheck – in doing an honest day’s labor.
© 2011 Kristina E. Smith
Sunday, January 02, 2011