Week 6 of Navigating Your Finances God's Way has us looking at work.
My professional life has quite a past! Let's see, since college I worked as a:
Each job or career has provided me valuable skills and life lessons. Each had its own charm and favorite task or duty. For instance, as a preschool teacher I loved their smiley faces and boundless curiosity; and yes I even found things to love about the law field. Each has been so perfectly suited for my personality that leaving it behind at the end of each work day has never been easy. I definitely lean towards the workaholic side of the work/home balance. Though, as this column has demonstrated, my hardworking ethic has not translated into hefty paychecks or giant windfalls for my efforts. Let me be clear that I do not measure my work success by monetary reward (more on that in a minute). Suffice it to say - ministry makes this work/home line the hardest job yet for me to keep from blurring.
My work in sharing the God's incredible love, fidelity and mercy has not price tag and definitely no "out of the office" sign. Though I recognize from this week's study that is NOT of God's making but of mine. As my Spiritual Director, Deacon Jerry often says, "I wish you raised Cocker Spaniels instead of ministry because that would make speaking spiritual things SO much easier with you!" My first radio show was called Catholic 24/7 - it is how I live my life but that does not mean that my every connection to God has to be 'job' related. Most have the opposite problem, not giving too much of their time to serving God but in forgetting God at home when they go work. My husband shared during our session this week that his behavior changed dramatically at work when after a year his cube-mate had NO IDEA he was a Christian! Stops and makes you think - is my work/rest line in good balance and do I bring God with me to work?
I am going to focus on 3 main thoughts this week from the Week 6 materials
Your Calling; Success; and Procrastination
Despite my occasional pondering - God really does have a purpose and plan for me and my life. My skills are perfectly suited for what GOD has called me to do. For me I am fairly sure of those things He has for me to do because they are things that I enjoy, feel confident at, and others have validated my talent in. Perhaps you've encountered the same thing - it does not mean I WILL love every task associated with the position (think diapers and poopie pants as a childcare/preschool teacher) but the main skill set will be one that fulfills the desires of my heart.
This line from part of Week 6 sums it up, "No one in all of history -- past, present or future - is like you."
God Gives Success
This one made me laugh out loud a little - because although I am fairly certain of my call, I am doubtful I have seen a great deal of success at it. UNTIL NOW...
As I read, "Although we all have certain responsibilities, it is ultimately God who controls success," I realized my measure (the world's benchmark) and God's were not on the same plane. As I sat and prayed with these words, the Lord gently brought memory after memory - one lost sheep at a time to mind. My success is not in name recognition or bank account balance, but in sometime much more important, in hearts touched. Every single position a person can hold from parent to undertaker; teacher to mechanic - has one ultimate goal - to serve others. In serving others, we are Christ to them. In being Christ in the world, even if we never utter His name aloud, we are glorifying God. This is how we live out our call and THIS is the true measure of our success!
There is a good reason the squirrel image for me has stuck. I AM in perpetual squirrel mode. I start one thing then my eye catches something shiny and I am working on another. Completing tasks is darn near impossible some days! **Anyone waiting for LAST Monday's post can attest to this! Add to this penchant to another symptom of my Attention Deficit Disorder that of a disdain for tasks that require repetitive or prolonged mental attention and you get .... PROCRASTINATION !!
This my action step for the week - to overcome procrastination. Navigating Your Finances God's Way gave four practical steps to help accomplish this difficult productivity hurled:
"I have the strength for everything